Daniel James Miller Jr. was born on January 6, 2010, to Kristin and Dan Miller, with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (PKD). As a result of his PKD, Danny’s kidneys were approximately four times their expected size. Although oversized, Danny’s kidneys were still functioning at the time of his birth. When Danny was 2-1/2 months old, however, he fell ill and his kidneys shut down. He was admitted into the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) for a period of two months. For the duration of his stay at CHOP, Danny was kept under near-constant 1:1 nursing care, fed through the use of liquid meals and feeding tubes and began his daily dialysis treatments which continue to this day. Dan and Kristin lived in the hospital with Danny, with Dan often commuting from Philadelphia to northern New Jersey in order to train. The care Danny received while at CHOP was exceptional, and in May of 2010 he was cleared to return home for the first time since March.
Once home Danny quickly grew into life surrounded by his entire loving family. In addition to playing with the family dogs, Danny recently helped welcome his younger sister Katie to the family. Although Danny’s day-to-day life has seen great improvement, his recovery will remain a long process. The PKD has led to difficulties regulating Danny’s hormone levels, and as a result he has developed physically at a slower rate, and now is undergoing physical therapy to help build up his strength. The exercises are often difficult, but like the fighter he is he has soldiered on. Danny must also undergo daily dialysis to replace the kidney function he no longer has.
In order to regain proper kidney function Danny must undergo a kidney transplant. Although a living-donor has been found and a date for the donation is set, there is still a lot of work to do. Danny recently underwent a double nephrectomy, meaning both of his kidneys were removed in order to make room for the donor kidney. Danny remains on dialysis prior to the transplant surgery, and will need to remain on costly anti-rejection medication for the remainder of his life. By donating to Danny’s cause you will help to offset the high costs of these life-saving medications and also to help cover the cost of the nephrectomy for the living donor, which is an expensive procedure deemed elective for the donor, and as a result will not be covered by insurance.