York Township girl is ambassador for kidney walk
When Dani Patras was 20 weeks pregnant with Quinn Patras, she found out her daughter had only one kidney.
This was unsettling for the York Township woman, but it wasn't something she would let stop her daughter from leading a full and happy life.
"It was kind of a whirlwind when she was born," Patras said. "She was born with a large heart murmur. She was taken to the NICU quickly."
Along with the heart murmur, Quinn was diagnosed with 22Q deletion syndrome, or DiGeorge syndrome. The partial deletion of chromosome 22 results in poor development of several body systems, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Quinn is partially blind and has some delays in development, but she is starting to reach her milestones, Patras said.
"She's a spunky little thing," she said. "She's done amazing. She has an amazing personality and she's an amazing little sister. She's definitely taught me to not sweat the small stuff."
Kidney Walk: Now that Quinn is starting to walk and become more mobile, it's fitting that she's this year's baby ambassador for the Greater Baltimore Kidney Walk. The event, happening Sunday at Camden Yards Sports Complex, 333 W. Camden St., Baltimore, will benefit the National Kidney Foundation of Maryland.
Quinn's aunt, Gina Geppi, is the co-chair for the walk. She was involved with the National Kidney Foundation before her niece's diagnosis but said this was more incentive to get involved.
"Every donation means so much more now," Geppi said. "It's amazing how much I've learned from Quinn and her diagnosis. The strength I've seen in my sister is great, too."
One in three adult Americans will develop kidney disease in their lifetime, according to the National Kidney Foundation. It is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States and kills more people every year than breast cancer or prostate cancer.
#QuinnStrong: Geppi said learning the facts was a staggering experience, and it has helped her come to support organizations such as the National Kidney Foundation and the American Heart Association. One way Geppi and Patras support the National Kidney Foundation is through selling bracelets with the saying "Mighty Quinn #QuinnStrong" on them for $5.
"They're orange, too, so it's perfect for if you're an Orioles fan," Geppi said. "100 percent of the proceeds go to the kidney foundation."
So far, the Greater Baltimore walk has raised more than $210,000 for the National Kidney Foundation. The goal for this year is $330,000. Geppi and Patras' group has raised more than $10,000 for this year's walk.
"There have been a lot of local businesses that step up and donate a chunk of change," Geppi said.
Community members still have time to sign up for the walk on Sunday. Those interested can sign up online at kidneywalk.org.
For more information on the Kidney Walk, contact Doreen Lucadamo at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 443-322-0373.