Liam turned two years old just before his first NKFM Kidney Walk at the Zoo on August 15th. His parents, Farrah and David from Kalamazoo, are walking for “Warrior Liam”, who was born with kidney disease. Liam has Alport Syndrome, a progressive genetic condition characterized by kidney damage, hearing loss, and eye abnormalities. Liam has already lost his hearing in one ear.
The family has team t-shirts that say, “Alport syndrome—not for the weak” on the front and “Warrior Liam” (their team name) on the back. A year ago, Liam’s family and friends watched the live virtual Kidney Walk program and then walked in a nearby park.
Liam’s parents found out about the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) and the Walk at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, where Liam was tested at 1 month old because the men in Farrah’s family have a history of the disease. She lost her father to it when he was only 29.
The family survived the pandemic but David, who works for a landscaping business, was not working and Farrah had to stay home with Liam and his older brother Kai because their day care was closed. She was fortunate that her employer paid her while she was out. She went back to work in May and now leaves the boys with her mom, who runs a daycare center in her home. David is also back to work.
“We’re taking it day by day. We want Liam to live the most normal life he can now. We know it’s going to get harder,” states Farrah. “I want to stay connected to the NKFM and do future walks.”
At the 2021 Kidney Walk, Fox 2 News interviewed Liam’s family and his team.