Drive continues for kidney transplant

Goessel High School alum Caleb Bunn went to the doctor three years ago to see if he would be a candidate to donate a kidney to his identical twin, Isaac.

Little did he know that he would be the one in need of a donor.

?(Isaac) had found out that his kidneys weren?t working very well, and so he had a routine blood test then,? Bunn said. ?He was getting pretty upset and worried about it, so I was like, ?No problem, (I?m his) twin brother, I?ve got an extra (kidney). I?ll go get checked out and see if I can be a candidate to donate one.?

?They got my blood work back and told me I was in even worse shape than he was.?

Whereas the function level of Isaac?s kidneys was low, Isaac did not require a transplant. Caleb?s kidneys, however, were functioning under 20 percent, prompting a diagnosis of kidney failure.

Since then, the functioning of Caleb?s kidneys has declined further, making a transplant necessary.

?My last test was at 14 percent,? he said.

Caleb has not undergone dialysis.

?It just depends on how much your body can take,? he said. ?Apparently mine does pretty good because some people are already on dialysis by this time, but I?m not feeling any effects yet at all. I don?t have any symptoms except for some tiredness, but that?s about it.?

Prior to his diagnosis, Caleb simply attributed his fatigue to his job.

?I have a pretty stressful job, so I just assumed my tiredness was based off of that, but they tell me it could be because of my kidneys, too,? he said. ?I don?t know. It?s one or the other.?

Caleb lives in Newton and works as a service adviser at The Wichita Luxury Collection.

He is the son of Tom and Connie Bunn, and grew up in rural Canton about 5 miles from Goessel. He is a 1997 graduate of Goessel High School.

Doctors believe both Caleb and Isaac were born with small kidneys.

?But it didn?t really show up until they became adults,? Connie Bunn said.

Need for a donor

Caleb, who must check in with his doctor once every two months, is in the process of seeking a kidney donor.

Three potential candidates have been declined, he said.

?Basically, it has to be a real good match,? he said. ?You?ve got to get all the tissues correct and blood type and all that. But then also, if there?s any kind of health issues with the potential donor, like blood pressure or any kind of kidney issues or anything that would possibly lead to kidney damage in that donor (in the future), they?ll decline you right there.?

Upon finding a match, Caleb will relocate to Oklahoma City for the transplant. He will stay there for six to eight weeks following the surgery for observation.

To help cover the cost of living in Oklahoma City, missed wages for himself and the donor, and medications, Caleb has set a goal to raise $25,000. Thus far, he has raised more than $8,000.

The actual cost of the transplant?an expense of nearly $250,000?will be covered by insurance.

Concert fundraiser

To help Caleb reach his fundraising goal, LaRita Craft, a fellow Goessel graduate and friend of Caleb?s, gave a piano concert Sunday at Tabor Mennonite Church.

Donations are still being accepted online at transplants.org by searching for ?Caleb Bunn.?

Caleb said he appreciates the support he has already received.

?We?ve had just such an outpouring of support from all my friends and family and even complete strangers,? he said. ?We?ve had some fundraisers already that are going to help so much.

?I just want to thank everybody for what they?ve done so far, for me and my family, to help us through this. It?s been real great.?

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