Meet Franco Bajjey, who just turned 3 years old, from Dearborn Heights. Franco was born with hydronephrosis of the left kidney and a nonfunctioning right kidney. Hydronephrosis means the kidney does not drain urine properly, which causes swelling and kidney damage. Franco is monitored closely at Children’s Hospital in Detroit, takes a number of different medications, and receives other treatments. He will probably not be eligible for a transplant until he is about 5 years old.
One positive is that his mom Alina has been tested and will be a perfect match as a donor for Franco when the time comes. Meanwhile, Alina juggles work as a medical assistant at an urgent care clinic and studies nursing at Baker College.
Last year, Alina organized a team of family and friends to walk in the 2019 National Kidney Foundation of Michigan Kidney Walk at the Detroit Zoo. The team is named after Franco, “Frank the Little Tank”.
At the Zoo Walks, Alina talks with other moms whose children also have kidney disease. “I love to share my story with others, she says. “I walk because I know there’s more people like me. I also want to help support research.”