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The Murray family of Grand Island, dad Kevin, left, Collin, 4,mom Kateri and Keira, 21 months, will take part in the National Kidney Foundation of Western New York’s Kidney Walk 2009 on June 14.
Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News

05/31/09 06:36 AM

Sunday Profile /Collin Murray

Giving thanks for gift of life

Little Collin Murray wasn’t even born yet, but doctors felt he might not survive because both his kidneys had stopped working. Collin is now 4 and enjoys swimming in the pool of his Grand Island home. His grateful family will be supporting the National Kidney Foundation of Western New York during Kidney Walk 2009, which gets under way at 9 a. m. June 14 at Coca-Cola Field in downtown Buffalo.

To help Collin, who is also autistic, a special formula was needed for his specific nutritional requirements. The local Kidney Foundation helped the family find a nutritionist.

Anne K. C. McCooey, executive director of the foundation, referred Collin’s mom, Kateri Murray, to foundation dietitian volunteer Lisa Bradt.

Bradt and Murray worked out a chart of Collin’s nutritional needs and within a week, the boy’s “kidney numbers” improved. Collin started gaining weight, and his health returned as well.

Kateri and Kevin Murray credit the foundation for their son’s improvement.

The Collinses encourage others to participate in Walk 2009, which makes “a difference in the lives of kidney patients like Collin and the 170,000 other Western New Yorkers suffering from chronic kidney disease,” according to Julie Marranca, director of programs for the local foundation.

For more information, or to donate a pledge, call 835-1323.

“Every day is a choice to make sure we are thankful and grateful for the gift he is and the strength we’ve been granted throughout all of this,” Kateri Murray said.

“The National Kidney Foundation has been an incredible support,” said Collin’s mother, who said the family first walked for Collin in 2007.

The parents also praised McCooey, who offered hope and reassured them that they are not alone.

“Collin’s health has always been at the center of our lives; it was nice to know someone else could empathize,” Kateri said.

“We knew that if Collin could get through this, he’d be victorious throughout any further trials he’d go through,” said the mother, who pointed out that her son’s name means “victorious under pressure” —also the title to the memoir she penned on her family’s experience.

“There are days of fear, days of struggle, pressure, anxiety and frustration,” she said, “but we face new hope with each new trial because we’ve learned that if there is knowledge out there for us to find, we will find it.”