Beating the odds

By Geoff Lee

August 23, 2017 2:19 PM

With a little help from his mom, Darcie Lane, 11 year old Kyler Cecil bravely spoke at the Rotary Club of Lloydminster lunch meeting this Monday about his health issues before and after his kidney transplant two years ago. All he wants now is a new dirt bike. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

Kyler Cecil, an 11-year-old boy from Marsden, wants to be a dirt bike racer when he grows up.
The fact the youngster even has a future is somewhat of a medical miracle.
When Kyler was two years old he was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), and a condition called Nephrotic Syndrome.
FSGS is a rare disease that leads to permanent kidney damage and even failure.
Kyler came to the Monday lunch meeting of the Rotary of Club of Lloydminster with his mom Darcie Lane and step dad Steven Zakall, to talk about his kidney transplant.
He also spoke to media afterwards about his 797 days at Ronald McDonald House in Edmonton and months in the Stollery Children’s Hospital, after doctors feared his kidneys were shutting down.
“They said I would grow out of it by age five or six, but when I hit age five, I went into end-stage kidney failure,” said Kyler.
“Then I got put on peritoneal dialysis in Edmonton until I was nine, and got a transplant.”
He said he missed a lot of Christmases, birthdays, Easters and Halloweens over the years.
The youngster said he feels a lot better today than he used to before receiving a deceased kidney transplant.
“I went from puking every morning to running around,” he said.
Now, he has his mind set on getting a new dirt bike to ride as his health improves.
“I dirt bike quite a bit back home because there’s a dirt bike track just outside of town,” he said.
“I can whip and do no feet in the air.”
Kyler got his first dirt bike ride from the late competitor Lucas Bachman for whom the Lucas Bachman Memorial Raceway in Lloydminster is named after.
His mom says they’ll be talking about financing a bike for Kyler.
“At the end of the day, he’s been through enough that he probably deserves his bike,” said Lane.
“We have to find the right time and place to do it.”
Kyler is one of six kids in a blended family who have all been affected by Kyler’s continuing ordeal.
Lane said it was definitely a lot of stress on her family and herself.
“Being away, my two daughters who are now nine and seven, definitely, I wasn’t able to raise them like I wanted to because they were shuffled from family to family when he was in the hospital,” she said.
For Kyler’s sake, she added, “I wouldn’t change it for the world; he’s now doing amazing.”
She said their journey began when doctors told her her son’s kidneys were failing.
From then on she said he had issues with blood pressure and they couldn’t get him to gain weight.
He also had mal seizures.
“We almost lost him a couple of times,” said Lane. “He couldn’t keep anything down; he was constantly vomiting.”
Kyler has to use a feeding tube inserted through his abdomen until he’s 16 to hydrate his kidneys and provide his body with the extra calories he needs.
“He can’t be too much of a kid; he can’t get super dirty because his immune system is suppressed,” said Lane. “We have to be careful what he eats and make sure he has fluids.”
She said Kyler has a better quality of life with the transplant, but he’s still sick.
Lane noted he is not out of the woods yet, and may have to stay at Ronald McDonald House again for further treatment.
Kyler was featured in a promotional video there last year and is always welcomed back with open arms.
“Our experience at Ronald McDonald House was amazing from the time me and Kyler pulled up in a taxi straight from the hospital; they made sure we had everything.
“Kyler has been a huge part of their community; they’ve been huge.”

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