Matthew Francis’ future is wide open

Former Knicks player John Starks, right, presents a basketball to fan Matthew Francis at a press conference at Cohen Children’s Medical Center, where the young man received a kidney transplant.
Call it a tragic tale with a storybook ending.

It began in 2012, when Jennifer Francis, a nurse at NewYork-Presbyterian/Queens hospital, noticed that her son, Matthew, still in elementary school, wasn’t quite himself.

As it turned out, he was suffering from blood pressure that was dangerously high.

That concerned Francis especially because she has been living with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a rare disease that attacks the kidneys’ filtering units and can eventually lead to kidney damage and organ failure, and she feared her son might have it, too.

Matthew was, indeed, diagnosed with the condition, which is not always considered hereditary, and this year, after exhausting other medical options, he had to start spending three-and-a-half hours, three days a week hooked up to a dialysis machine. Continue reading
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