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Easton DeJong to Serve as 2020 Nebraska Champion Ambassador

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center is proud to announce that 6-year-old Easton DeJong of Omaha has been named the 2020 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion for the state of Nebraska. Throughout this year, Easton and his parents, Danielle and Brenden DeJong, will serve as spokespeople, advocating for the charitable need at children’s hospitals across North America.

Easton’s “battle scars” are hidden under his clothes, but they tell the dramatic story of his medical journey. He’s had more than 30 surgeries and procedures, and today he takes daily medication to keep his kidneys functioning. Easton was diagnosed with serious complications in-utero, and had surgery on his first day of life.

He was born with very rare congenital anomalies, a tiny bladder and two horseshoe kidneys that were not functioning properly, so specialists were called in right away. On top of these issues, Easton was later diagnosed with dangerously high potassium levels and needed dialysis. He was finally able to go home but, two months later, returned to Children’s with stage five kidney failure. Easton received a life-saving kidney transplant from his father, as well as additional corrective procedures.

Life isn’t easy by any means, but this determined young boy and his parents have overcome challenges they never thought possible. Easton is an outspoken advocate for himself, cheerfully explaining his condition to anyone he asks, including that he has to drink a certain amount of fluid daily to keep his kidney “happy.” His upbeat attitude makes him a popular guest at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals fundraisers.

Easton’s announcement coincides with Children’s Hospitals Week, April 6-12, 2020 – a week dedicated recognizing the importance of children’s hospitals and ensuring they have the funds they need to care for more than 10 million kids a year. Children’s is one of 170 member Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) across North America participating in the week-long initiative.