Wild Wickenburg Bull Riding Fundraising Raises $5K for Teen with MPGN II

In Wickenburg, Arizona, the community sticks together. Community means strength. 

So when Noah Ahnlund was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis type II (MPGN II/dense deposit disease) at age 10, the people of Wickenburg stepped up.

At 13 years old, Ahnlund has gone through more than many people. He underwent a nephrectomy this year to have his left kidney removed, is currently working towards inclusion on the transplant list, undergoes infusions via a port in his chest, and receives peritoneal dialysis every day. 

Over the three years since his diagnosis, the community has done whatever they can to support Ahnlund and his family. Most recently, reports Claire Halliburton in The Wickenburg Sun, funds raised for the third annual Wild Wickenburg Bull Riding rodeo were donated to Ahnlund to help on his journey. 

Altogether, more than $5K was raised. It provides help to Ahnlund and his family as they face upcoming treatments and kidney transplantation, giving them a help line for the tough times. As many people in the rare disease community know, treating and managing rare diseases can be costly on its own; this is exacerbated by loss of income from having to leave work, equipment costs, and travel costs.

About Membranoproliferative Glomerulonephritis Type II (MPGN II) 

There are three subtypes of membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN), a rare autoimmune disease affecting the kidneys. MPGN causes the immune system to mistakenly attack healthy kidney cells, leading to inflammation and glomeruli destruction; the glomeruli are small structures that filter waste from the kidneys. As described above, Ahnlund was diagnosed with MPGN II, also known as dense deposit disease (DDD). This condition is characterized by dense, flowing, ribbon-like deposits in the tubules, Bowman’s capsule, and basement membrane of the kidneys. Symptoms of DDD typically appear in childhood and adolescence, and may include:

  • Proteinuria (excess protein in the urine) 
  • Hematuria (blood in the urine) 
  • Weight gain from fluid accumulation 
  • Cloudy, dark, or foamy urine
  • Edema (swelling) around the eyes or in the lower extremities 
  • Decrease in urine volume 
  • Appetite loss
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue 

Right now, there is no cure for MPGN II. Treatment options are varied and include plasmapheresis, diuretics, blood pressure medications, immunosuppressants, steroids, ACE inhibitors, dialysis, and kidney transplant. If you or your child has MPGN II, please speak with your care team about the best line of treatment.

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

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