South Pasadena teen thankful for new kidney

SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- A 17-year-old South Pasadena boy has much to be thankful for after undergoing a unique procedure for a kidney transplant just in time for the holidays.

With his options running out, Nate Rudman's father was able to give him the gift of life again.

The South Pasadena High School junior has Alport Syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes progressive kidney damage and often leads to vision and hearing loss.

He's lost 50 percent of his hearing, but that doesn't interfere with his love of jazz as Nate's an avid saxophone player.

Doctors at Children's Hospital Los Angeles suspected Alport Syndrome when Nate was much younger because of clues in his mother's family history.

With his kidneys on the brink of failure, his doctors told him he had to get a preemptive kidney transplant or start dialysis.

"The medical team's goal was to keep me off of dialysis," Nate said.

"Why put someone on a treatment with its own side effects and other complications that could occur?" Dr. Gary Lerner said.

Lerner said children in Southern California sometimes wait up to three years for a kidney, while adults can wait upwards of 10 years.

Luckily for Nate, his father, 51-year-old Ken Rudman, was a willing donor.

"Your kid needs help, you're going to help your kid," Ken Rudman said.

Doctors expect Nate to live a normal lifespan and his family said they have much to be thankful for this holiday and they hope others can experience this gift of life.

"Ten percent of the world's population lives with a chronic kidney disease, so it's a lot more than me out there," Nate said.
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