The Athens Review
Three-year-old Karter Whittenberg from Gun Barrel City is suffering from Nephrotic Syndrome.
According to Karter's parents, Robert and Christin Whittenberg, Karter was diagnosed in March. The disease has Karter's kidneys leaking protein, pushing it through holes in his kidneys and into his body. The fluid causes Karter to swell up.
The National Kidney and Urologic Disease Information Clearinghouse website says childhood nephrotic syndrome can occur at any age, but is most common between the ages of one-and-a-half and 5 years old. It seems to affect boys more often than girls.
The website goes on to say a child with nephrotic syndrome has these signs: high levels of protein in the urine, a condition called proteinuria; low levels of protein in the blood; swelling resulting from buildup of salt and water; less frequent urination and weight gain from excess water.
“Karter's left kidney is bigger than his right, which is causing him problems as well,” Christin said.
She said he is currently on steroids in hopes of sending it into remission. The hope is he can avoid kidney dialysis until he can possibly have a kidney transplant.
The community, which has rallied around the family, has created a team called “Team Karter.” The team has planned a number of fundraisers for the family. This Saturday, May 11, Team Karter will be hosting a bake sale in front of the Dollar Tree Store in Gun Barrel City.
There will be a Team Karter night at Chili's Restaurant in Gun Barrel City on May 28. There is a flyer on Karter’s Facebook Prayer page that can be printed. Take the flyer to Chili’s Restaurant and the restaurant will make a donation to Team Karter for each person with the flyer.
In addition to the fundraiser, Team Karter will be participating in the 2013 Dallas Nephrotic Walk to raise money for a cure. The team will be walking in Dallas on June 1. If you are interested in walking in the Dallas walk, you can register online or contact Caren Anthony at 903-275-9460 for information on the walk.
The team is working on a fundraiser in August to be held at a local restaurant. Organizers hope to have a bike run and a concert.
Karter’s grandparents are long-time Eustace residents Eustace Fire Chief Chris and Caren Anthony and Linda Fletcher and Peggy Case.