STILL KICKIN HERO DECEMBER 2018

EVERY MONTH, WE PROVIDE FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO AN AWESOME PERSON OR FAMILY GOING THROUGH SOMETHING AWFUL.    


 MEET RACHEL.

A photo of Rachel and her three children: twin daughters Eva and Sofia and son Isaak. They are laughing and eating apples underneath an apple tree.

Show of hands: How many of you have heard a parent say they’d do anything for their child? All of you? Heck, maybe you’ve even said it yourself. 


For the past two years, Rachel Lentz has been doing exactly that. And in her case, “doing anything for her children” has meant leaving an emotionally abusive marriage, donating a life-saving kidney to her toddler daughter Eva, and fighting a never-ending legal battle to keep her kids from being sent back to their father on the other side of the world.


Rachel was pregnant with Eva and her twin sister when she separated from her husband. The couple had been living in Turkey with their young son, and the relationship had long become toxic.


Eva was born with end-stage renal disease (which means she was born with non-functioning kidneys -- and kidneys are pretty dang important organs). She began dialysis at just four days old. In the first months following the twins’ births, Rachel was a single mom taking care of an 11-month-old-son and twins, one of whom required extensive at-home dialysis treatment for which Rachel received training.

Rachel realized her daughter wouldn’t get the care she desperately needed if they stayed in Turkey. With her husband’s acknowledgment, Rachel filed for divorce and moved back to the U.S., settling with her parents in Iowa. 


The good news? After 1.5 years of dialysis, little Eva got that life-saving care she needed, thanks to an incredible medical team and her mama's kidney. Eva’s not out of the woods entirely -- she still requires close monitoring and daily anti-rejection medications -- but she’s thriving!


The bad news? Months before Eva and Rachel’s big surgeries, Rachel’s husband opened a child abduction case against her, demanding that Eva and the other two children be returned to him in Turkey. Despite the fact that doing so would’ve kept Eva from the medical care and transplant that ultimately saved her life (and continues to keep her healthy today).   

A photo of Rachel and her daughter Eva before their transplant surgeries. They are both wearing hospital gowns and waiting in a pre-op room.


A photo of Rachel and her three children: twin daughters Eva and Sofia and son Isaak.

The bad news? Months before Eva and Rachel’s big surgeries, Rachel’s husband opened a child abduction case against her, demanding that Eva and the other two children be returned to him in Turkey. Despite the fact that doing so would’ve kept Eva from the medical care and transplant that ultimately saved her life (and continues to keep her healthy today). 


Rachel has racked up massive legal bills in the fight to keep her children in the U.S., where they are surrounded by family and where Eva continues to receive crucial medical care. After losing the abduction case, her husband appealed the judge’s decision, which continues to cause financial stress. Both the child abduction case and the divorce itself are still pending with no end in sight. 


When you shop our merch or make a donation, you help people like Rachel. Make a purchase at StillKickin.Co/Collections. Or donate at GiveMN.Org/StillKickin. Together, we can #HelpAHumanOut.