RAPID CITY, S.D. (April 8, 2020) – Colin Gholson has been selected as Monument Health’s 2020 Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Champion. In his role as champion, Colin will be featured in various campaigns throughout the year to share his story and help increase awareness about the amazing work being done at Monument Health with the help of CMN.
By all appearances, Colin is your typical teenager. He runs cross country and track, plays piano in the jazz band, and is his class vice president. He enjoys taking photos and videos of interesting weather events and aspires to be a meteorologist. And, of course, he likes to hang out with his friends.
What differentiates Colin from his peers is that he has autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD), a rare inherited childhood condition where the development of the kidneys and liver is abnormal and leads to these organs slowly failing. Because of this disease, Colin has overcome many challenges that most kids never face. When he was born at 36 weeks, his chances for survival seemed very slim, and he spent two months in the NICU. For the most part since then, his life has been “pretty normal,” with routine testing, but his family knew that one day he would need a kidney transplant.
In March, 2019, his condition had progressed enough that he was put on the transplant list. A transplant won’t be a “cure” – and he’ll need immunosuppressant medicine for the rest of his life – but it will help treat his disease.
Colin’s focus remains positive, and he tries not to let his ARPKD slow him down. He’s a hard worker, participates in lots of activities, and volunteers to help with just about anything. Colin continues to take each day as it comes and is determined to not let his disease define him.
CMN at Monument Health works to fund medical equipment, services and programs for ill and injured children throughout the Black Hills. One hundred percent of the funds raised in the Black Hills stay local. Providing special equipment in the hospital’s NICU where Colin received care and funds when he has to travel are just a couple of the many ways CMN helps make medical miracles happen. Monument Health is one of two Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in South Dakota.