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Colin Gholson: Meet Our 2020 CMN Champion

By all appearances, Colin is your typical teenager. He runs cross country and track, plays piano in the jazz band, and is his class vice president. He enjoys taking photos and videos of interesting weather and aspires to be a meteorologist. And, of course, he likes to hang out with friends.

What differentiates him from his peers is that Colin has autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD), a rare inherited childhood condition where the development of the kidneys and liver is abnormal and leads to these organs slowly failing. Because of this disease, Colin has overcome many challenges that most kids never face. When he was born at 36 weeks, his chances for survival seemed very slim, and he spent two months in the NICU. For the most part since then, his life has been “pretty normal,” with routine testing, but his family knew that one day he would need a kidney transplant.

In March, 2019, his condition had progressed enough that he was put on the list. The transplant won’t be a “cure” – and he’ll need immunosuppressant medicine for the rest of his life – but it will help treat his disease.

Colin’s focus remains positive, and he tries not to let his ARPKD slow him down. He’s a hard worker, participates in lots of activities, and volunteers to help with just about anything. Colin continues to take each day as it comes and is determined not to let his disease define him.