Thursday, October 23, 2008

Rallying for Ethan, a 10-year-old Greece, New York boy in need of kidney transplant

Ethan Schreib, 6, stands next to a quilt that will be raffled at Patti’s Pantry to help pay for expenses for his kidney transplant

By Jessica Spies Greece Post, New York

Greece, N.Y. —
Ethan Schreib is on 10 different medications, has his blood drawn every few weeks and has to take growth hormones.

He suffers from polycystic kidney dysplasia and needs a kidney. He is 6.

“We cry every night,” said Ethan’s mother, Nicole. She has to give her son injections every night. “I hate doing it,” she said.

The family is finding comfort from the support they’ve received in recent weeks. Patti Haefner, the owner of Patti’s Pantry, a Dewey Avenue restaurant where Nicole is a waitress, has teamed up with a quilt maker to help the family meet financial needs.

Haefner is working with Jackie Kaspersin, who makes quilts for charity raffles under the name Jackie’s Quilts. So far, one quilt has been sold and $80 of the $120 bid is going directly to Ethan and his family. The remaining $40 is going toward more quilt materials.

“Little by little, we’re trying to find ways to have little fundraisers for Ethan,” Haefner said.
Nicole and husband, Nathan, have found two potential donors for Ethan. The best match is Nathan’s friend, Sam Lotemple.

Nicole is hopeful that Ethan’s kidney transplant will happen in January or February. Ethan and his family will travel for the transplant to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The money raised for Ethan will go toward cover some of the medical expenses not covered by insurance, the travel costs to Philadelphia for check-ups after the transplant as well as meals for the family while in Philadelphia. It may also defray lost wages for Ethan’s parents and help the donor pay for what his insurance doesn’t cover.

After Ethan gets his kidney transplant, the hard times won’t be over. Ethan may have to stay in Philadelphia for two to three months after the surgery. He’ll also have to travel back to Philadelphia throughout the next year for check ups.

Ethan, who is in first grade, has already missed some school time and will miss more. Still, Nicole is hopeful that he will advance to second grade the next year. He will be tutored while he recovers.

“The kidney is more important,” his mother said.

Nicole and her family are living day-to-day. Ethan is one of three siblings: His brother, Landon, is 5, and his brother Tristan will be 3 in December.

Nicole has brought Ethan to Patti’s Pantry a few times. During one visit he picked up pieces of paper off the floor.

“Ethan thinks he works here when he’s not feeling well — he’ll clean up,” Haefner said. “He thinks that’s his job.”

Haefner’s charitable spirit doesn’t stop with Ethan. She does food drives at Thanksgiving, has a giving tree for St. Joseph’s Villa and also has a hat and scarf tree to donate to Kiwanis.

Haefner laughs when she talks about her upcoming idea for a fundraiser. “We want to do a silent auction with mimes,” she said.

Haefner points to her “family tree” wall — it is covered in pictures. “When someone comes in, we adopt them,” she said of her close staff of six.

Among those employees is Ruth Bidwell, Haefner’s 86-year-old mother. The hostess, fondly known as “Granny,” is certain of Ethan’s fate — “He’s gonna be fine,” she said.

Contact Jessica Spies at (585) 394-0770, Ext. 265, or at

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1 comment: said...

Thanks for posting this! I really liked reading this! Thanks! I have just celebrated my 1st year with my 2nd kidney transplant. My first was when I was 16.

- Angie