National Kidney Foundation awards grant to local dietitian

AURORA, Colo. -- It is Kidney Awareness Month and the National Kidney Foundation wants to spread the word about bone disease in infants with chronic kidney disease, and a new research grant that could help these young patients.

The National Kidney Foundation awarded the $70,000 grant to Abbey Eldridge, a pediatric renal dietitian at Children’s Hospital Colorado to study the subject.  There are currently no standardized guidelines for treatment and she and her colleague, Dr. Jens Goebel, want to develop best practice guidelines.

That’s good news to Samantha Moreno’s family.  She’s four-years-old now, but early on her mother noticed she had bow legs and had trouble running and jumping.

“It turned out that she had kidney failure, and because of her kidneys, it was talking calcium from her bones, and that’s what was making her bones so deformed,” said Rosa Cetina, Samantha’s mother.

At age two Samantha was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease and bone disease.  She was on dialysis for almost a year, and then received a kidney transplant in November.  Since then, her legs have straightened.

“It’s a totally different girl,” her mother said.

Now Rosa wants to raise awareness and she’s excited about the new research happening in Colorado.  So is Abbey Eldridge, the grant recipient.

“It’s amazing, it’s so exciting,” Eldridge said.

Her hypothesis is that if children are treated sooner, they could achieve greater height.

“You might have a child who is 14, and they actually have the height of an 8-year-old. So we are hoping if we catch it sooner, then we can help promote that growth earlier, and they will actually achieve more of an adult type height,” Eldridge said.

If you would like to support the cause, you can attend the National Kidney Foundation’s Great Chefs of the West Event this Thursday at the Denver Marriott City Center at 6 p.m. More information is available on their website.