Friday, January 4, 2013


It's been one of those weeks where I feel like nobody can win. Fortunately, my family and I are all doing very well, but some of our friends are struggling with heartache in their own families.

Today, I received news from my sweet friend, Melissa Ranieri, that her son Evan will need to go on dialysis. Evan was born with stage 4 chronic kidney disease and unfortunately his cute, little kidneys can no longer keep up with his growing body. Melissa has dreaded this day and Evan was so close to avoiding this, but it just wasn't in the cards.

I met Melissa through our local MOMS Club, even though she lives literally right around the corner from us and has for years. We communicated via email and Facebook for what seems like months and finally met at a fundraiser for Evan at a local frozen yogurt shop. Melissa is one of those people who you instantly love. She's sweet, kind and most importantly, funny. Her sense of humor is so in sync with mine; it's like we're long lost friends. She is one of the best moms I know and loves her kids more than anything else in the world. Over the past few months, we have grown really close. My husband and I have gone to her house at 9pm to capture man-eating frogs and she has sat in the car in my driveway with me to discuss "serious" topics. I value her friendship very much and am thankful to have her in my life.

I haven't had a lot of time to process how I feel about this because I've been so worried about Melissa and her family. The one emotion that comes to mind is sadness. I'm sad that this sweet, nearly 2-year-old little boy will be spending some his days hooked up to a dialysis machine instead of running around like a maniac like kids his age should be. I'm also angry that the Ranieri family and Evan have to go through this, because they certainly don't deserve this. Oddly enough, I'm happy. I'm happy that modern medicine is advanced enough to have dialysis AND transplants. Needless to say, there are many emotions that I'm feeling, but I need to put all my emotions aside and be strong for Melissa, Evan and the rest of the family.

If you want to learn more about Evan and how you can help, please check out: Children's Organ Transplant Association: Evan Ranieri. Spread the word about organ donation, kidney disease and Evan's story. And if you feel so inclined, please donate to Evan's COTA fund to help pay for his upcoming kidney transplant.

Love always,
Ian, Kim, Bella & Cecilia

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