By Jen Heller
Here’s your friendly reminder, folks: Jacey’s Race is this Saturday, July 9, at the Sandpoint High School. You don’t want to miss it! Why? Because it’s going to be a blast! And, because every registration fee supports local kids living with severe, long-term illnesses. Register online at www.jaceys-race.com, or on-site Saturday before 8:00am.
This year’s beneficiaries are Jared Kluesner (15), Oliver Bond (3), Catalina Guthrie (14), and Clara Falconer (11). We don’t have room here to feature all of them, so here’s Catalina’s story, in brief.
Cat spends 10-14 hours each night on an eight-foot leash, attached to a lifesaving dialysis machine. When she was six years old, she was diagnosed with MPGN type II — a rare disease in which the body’s immune system attacks otherwise healthy kidneys.
In over half of all MPGN type II cases, the illness progresses to end-stage renal disease within the first 10 years. Cat hit end-stage condition within two weeks of diagnosis. And dialysis is her only option — even if she were matched with a kidney transplant, her body would likely kill her new kidneys within four months.
Needless to say, Catalina’s diagnosis has affected her whole family. The Guthries have relocated multiple times to keep her close to the best medical care they can find. Their basement is stacked with cardboard boxes full of the life-saving medical equipment she uses every night.
“She’s almost never complained about any of it,” her mom, Cheryl, says. “But now, as she’s becoming a teenager, she’s realizing all the things kids her age are starting to do — have a boyfriend, get a driver’s license. (Last week), when we drove to Seattle to see her doctor, she said to me, ‘Mom, I’m just so tired.’” Cheryl shakes her head.
Come help Sandpoint celebrate Catalina and the gang on Saturday!