Wednesday, March 20, 2019

On Second Thought

     At the end of last evening, Sawyer said, "good night" and started walking towards my bedroom. I indignantly asked him where he was going and he confidently responded, "I'm sleeping in your room."  He's 12 years old.  He needs to be in his own bed.  However, on second thought, it made complete sense that he would head that direction, especially last night because it was on the eve of Kidney Day.  Kidney Day is the DeBause holiday where we celebrate the anniversary of the day my hero wife Karen donated her kidney to Sawyer. 

     For six months prior to transplant, Sawyer slept in our room every night tethered to his dialysis machine.   Our bedroom was his refuge and the place where he was being kept alive by 10 hours of dialysis.  So, it's an important place for him.  I think he would move back in if he could.  He can't.  He has to move on and receive all that God has for him in this life, but he is welcomed back on occasion and last night was the perfect occasion.

     Today marks the seventh anniversary of Kidney Day.  I am so grateful to the Lord Almighty for sparing my son and giving him many more days on this side of eternity through the sacrificial love and gift from his mother.  What she did is so Jesus-like.  Some friends and I are reading all of the eye witness testimonies of the life of Jesus that are found in the Bible. Today's reading was Jesus laying down his life for us all.  There is no greater love and Karen reflected that love on this day seven years ago. 

     I read that passage in my favorite reading spot, the corner chair in my bedroom.  It was dark and I couldn’t turn on the light because Sawyer was sleeping on the floor at my feet.  So, I read from my tablet.  As I was reading, Sawyer startled me as he suddenly started  pounding his heels on the floor and waving his arms in the air.  I thought he was having a nightmare, but then he mumbled, "It's Kidney Day", rolled over and went back to sleep.

     We love celebrating Kidney Day! It is a one of the best days. We praise God for this day and all of the provision and love that He showered on us through our friends and family and continues to pour out on us as we walk this path.

Friday, March 20, 2015

More Beautiful.

    There is never a day, not one single day, where I don’t think about what happened on this day three years ago.  It was such a dramatic event for our family.  It was horrible.  Gut-wrenching horrible.  Yet, it was beautiful too.  As horrific as it was, it was even more beautiful.

     Today is the third anniversary of Kidney Day.  The day my hero wife donated her kidney to my son.  Though I would never wish for them to go through it again, I praise God (literally) every day that they did.

     Three years later, Karen is doing well. You can live a normal life with one kidney.  Other than the fact that she can't take Advil, she doesn't have any limitations. 

     Sawyer is doing well too.  He still copes with the progression and effects of the genetic syndrome that killed his kidneys, but this will not impact his new kidney.  It has been a great year for him.  He went the entire year without spending the night in the hospital. 

     As soon as an organ is transplanted into a person, the body begins to reject that organ.  This is why transplant recipients have to be monitored often, face multiple transplant surgeries if they live long lives and they have to take anti-rejection medicines every day for the rest of their lives.  We praise God because Sawyer's kidney is strong and thriving!  We have a great God who picked the perfect donor… who happens to be gorgeous… but I digress.

     The only "hiccup" post-transplant is the transplanted ureter.  We still face the possibility of having to surgically re-implant it, but Sawyer's doctor is exhausting other ways of addressing it first.  We are so grateful for the love and care he receives from his doctor and the rest of the awesome professionals at the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters.

     One of the highlights of Sawyer's year was basketball.  Sawyer fell in love with basketball before he could hardly walk.  This year he played on his first team and had a blast.  We see a lot more basketball in his future.

     Sawyer reached another milestone recently.  In the last two months, Sawyer started taking all of his medicines by mouth.  Shortly before transplant, Sawyer had a "G-Tube" surgically implanted into his abdomen.  Many young children who receive a transplant  have to  get a "G-Tube" to ensure they will get their anti-rejection medicines when they do not cooperate taking them by mouth.  Sawyer was definitely one of those kids who would not cooperate, but he hasn't missed a dose by mouth in over a month.  Today we celebrate with a shopping spree at Toys R Us and we hope to have the g-tube removed in the near future.

     Kidney Day is synonymous with New Life Day in our home.  Sawyer's new (47 year old) kidney has given him the opportunity to live a new life free of dialysis machines and full of basketball (and Doritos andchocolate milk and…)

     We can't even begin to thank God enough for giving us this year.  We are also grateful beyond words for the many people who continue to pray for Sawyer and pour into his life.  God has done much through you. 

     We would never wish this path for our son or anyone else's son or daughter, but God has not abandoned us on this journey. He takes something horrible and makes it beautiful.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Today the DeBause Family...

     Today the DeBause Family is putting our home up for sale.  We were not anticipating a move so soon, but a rare opportunity came available on another home and we took it.  So, here we are selling our beloved home of over 12 years.

Here's the scoop on our home…

905 White Oak Court- Chesapeake, 23320

For more info go to

Large (2,216 sq ft) 3 Bedroom (+ office) home

Builder's model in cul de sac

2.5 Bathrooms

Brand New HVAC System w/ 10 year warranty.

Brand New Gutters and maintenance-free wrap on Trim

Updated throughout.

Additional room next to office
Extra Large Pantry in kitchen
2 Sheds
Custom Playground

Wood Floor and tile.  Carpet upstairs.


If you or anyone you know is interested, email to schedule a visit or get more information.

Currently, we are offering our home  For Sale By Owner (FSBO).  FSBO maximizes our return, but it also allows us to keep the price lower and share some of the savings with our buyer which could include helping with closing costs, making another desired upgrade on the home, etc.

Buyer’s agent welcome. 3% commission recognized.

What we love about our neighborhood…

Our Neighbors!
Our neighbors are remarkable people.  If we could take our street and cul de sac with us, we would.    We are grateful for the late night texts when we left the car door open or the interior light on, meals randomly being delivered to our door step, corn hole, the Christmas Huddle, impromptu cook outs, the Redskins/ Dallas feud, anonymous grass cutting, caring for our children, great conversations and so much more.  This has been a true caring community that we will miss greatly.  So thankful we get to keep the life-long friendships.

In the heart of Greenbrier. 
Our home is 1 mile from Panera's and Cold Stone Creamery and 1.8 miles from Target and Buffalo Wild Wings.  Need we say more?  Aerial View

Walking Paths, the Lake and sledding down the Great Hill after it snows.
Our family has walked many miles through the walking paths tucked away in our neighborhood.  Each one eventually wraps around our neighborhood lake where the kids feed the turtles on "turtle bridge" and swing on the monkey bars at the nearby parks.  The paths are well lit for early morning jogs or an evening stroll and maintained by our property owners association (POA).  The POA fee is $100 every six months, but worth every dime.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Kidney Day!

     Two years ago on this day, my hero wife Karen donated her kidney to our son Sawyer. So, today we celebrate New Life Day or, as Sawyer affectionately refers to it, "Kidney Day". 

     In some respects the two years have gone by quickly.  However, Sawyer suffered so much between the kidney failure and transplant, that it seems like a very distant memory now.  Distance is good.  We can appreciate looking back only to realize how far God has carried us since those difficult days.  We are grateful for where we are today.

     Sawyer's kidney has been performing like a champ.  What more could you expect considering the awesome (and beautiful) donor?  All of his labs have been very encouraging and we are praying that Sawyer's new (46 year old) kidney will last much longer than expected.  We hope he sets a few new records in the transplant world.

     We've known since birth that Sawyer was a fighter. Really, it's God's grace on him as He equipped Sawyer for the battles he has already fought and the war ahead. 

     Day to day, Sawyer does very well, but he is still challenged with the genetic syndrome that continues to plague his body. In recent months Sawyer has started to become more aware of his limitations or at least he communicates his frustration and disappointment more often.  Recently he stood at the doorway looking out with tears in his eyes as his friends played in our front yard at sundown.  He said to Karen, "I can't see.  I'm different than everybody else. I hate that I can't see.  Can we talk to the doctor about fixing it?"  Sawyer's genetic syndrome causes him night blindness and severe myopia. 

     Also, in the last few months, he has been struggling through pain in his legs and hips.  This is most likely from the bone dysplasia which is also caused by his genetic syndrome. Being the tough guy he is, we really don't know how much pain he wrestles with physically and emotionally, but we know it's daily. 

     Sawyer is so tough.  I vividly remember him waking up from transplant surgery asking for his sword, chocolate milk and Doritos.  He could barely speak.  He only had one arm mobile and he was hardly strong enough to use it.  However, he did use that one arm to wield his sword, gulp down the chocolate milk and Doritos (his first meal post-surgery) and lick the Dorito dust off of his fingers (his favorite part of the Dorito experience).

     Tonight, we celebrate New Life Day with chocolate milk and Doritos (maybe a few wings too).  We are grateful for God's faithfulness and provision to this family.  We cherish everyday with each other. 

     Thank you for your continued prayers for Sawyer.  We are overwhelmed and greatly blessed by the number of people who pray for him often and some still pray daily. So many have walked this journey with us and we cherish you too

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The moment when...

... you find out if you are on the naughty or nice list.

Santa's 2013 Declaration Video for Sawyer

Friday, December 13, 2013

All hail the B.D.P.!

Today is Emma's 14th Birthday. All hail the Birthday Princess!!  

Emma at her birthday lunch with dad.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pop goes the...

     Sawyer's surgery was successful today, but the doctor made a surprising discovery during the procedure.  Turns out, Sawyer's ureter had partially popped out from his bladder.  There was not enough of his ureter in the bladder for the bladder muscle to properly contract around it.  Therefore, urine easily back-flowed into the kidney causing the infections.

     The doctor believes Sawyer's ureter popped out because he is a "chronic holder". Good thing Sawyer has been going through Pee Pee Boot Camp.  If he does not maximize his potty breaks, he will have more serious issues in the future. 

     Although the ureter could not be placed into its proper position, the Deflux procedure corrected the back-flow (re-flux).  Sawyer is home and resting well.  He came home with a foley catheter.  So, he will stay put until we remove it tomorrow.

     Thank you for all of the prayers. Although this was a minor procedure, we take none of them for granted.  We are grateful for the excellent team at CHKD and great friends and family. 

Monday, November 4, 2013


     After months of Pee Pee Boot Camp, Sawyer has his Deflux procedure tomorrow (11/5) at CHKD.  Hopefully, this will help his ureter fully contract to stop the back-flow (reflux) of urine going into his kidney and causing infection.  Infection is deadly to a transplanted kidney.  So, tomorrow is necessary.

     We would appreciate all prayers for Sawyer and the success of the surgery.  It's been nice to get a break from the hospital, but we are grateful for the caring professionals at CHKD.

Sawyer had an important conversation with me while watching the game.  He was unfazed, as usual, by my passion for fair play.  At least, that's what I'd like to call it.