Watching your kids suffer is one of the most heartbreaking things a parent can experience. We’re programmed to help, to bandage the scratches and hug away the tears. But when our kids are faced with struggles that we can’t fix, we feel completely and totally powerless. After a decade of watching his son’s health decline, 45-year-old Shannon Dobrucki jumped at the opportunity to help.
Since the age of five, Shannon’s son Nolan suffered from aplastic anemia. 10 years later, Nolan has persevered through kidney failure and a host of other complications as his parents supported him to the best of their abilities.
Recently, doctors informed 15-year-old Nolan’s family that he desperately needed a kidney transplant. After learning he was a perfect match for his son, Shannon chose to give Nolan one of his own kidneys without a second thought.
“Parents all say the same thing, right? We’ll do anything for our kids,” Dobrucki told TODAY Parents. “It wasn’t a hard decision.”
After complications from a bone marrow transplant, Nolan started dialysis in 2015. He’s spent over a year of his life in the hospital, received daily dialysis, a coped with a host of things that complicated the teen’s ability to simply be a kid. In August of 2020, doctors performed the life-saving and life-changing surgery – almost immediately, Nolan began to notice drastic improvements.
Without his nightly 8-hour dialysis, Nolan’s world opened up. He could finally have sleepovers, stay up late, and travel without being tied to his essential nightly routine. After over a decade of struggling, Nolan has a new lease on life thanks to his dad.
“It’s so unfair for a young person who has given up so much time being in the hospital and can’t do everything that everybody else does. The hardest part is just having to watch him go through that and there’s really nothing you can do,” Shannon said. “Well, there was something that I could give to him finally.”