Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Geedas Chronicles: For boy little things mean a lot

Geedas Chronicles: For boy little things mean a lot

For boy little things mean a lot

Joey Motze has spent a lot of time in hospitals.

That's why he cherishes the little things in life.

He embraces the simple pleasures, like going to church and school and not feeling sick all the time and having the energy to do the things kids his age do.

The Mount Penn boy was born with a disease that destroyed his kidneys when he was just a baby.

The 12-year-old sixth-grader at Antietam Middle School had a kidney transplanted from his mother, Jeanie, when he was 3 years old.

"That kidney lasted nine years," Jeanie said.

When it failed, Joey's dad, Michael, donated one of his kidneys in September.

Late last month, Joey's doctors at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia cleared him to go to church.

It might not sound like much, but the immune systems of transplant recipients are deliberately weakened to lessen the likelihood that they will reject their new organ.

Last week, Joey was cleared to go back to school.

"They hung a banner up in school that said 'Welcome Back Joey,' " he said.

Jeanie said the school district has been fantastic. When he was home recovering, Joey's teachers came out to the house a few times a week to make sure he stayed on task and kept up with his classmates. On Halloween, some district officials put on costumes and visited Joey at home.

Joey's sister, Danielle, 22, has been a huge help too.

Joey said he likes learning at home because it is quieter and he has more time to watch his favorite television shows. He misses going to school because it's easier to keep up and he likes being with classmates and friends.

Spending a lot of time in the hospital has been kind of tough, but he said he also enjoys going down to CHOP, which is what the Motzes call the children's hospital, because the staff there takes such good care of him.

Joey said he doesn't make New Year's resolutions and has learned to take life one day at a time.

"I'm in pretty good health now," he said.

He hasn't been outside much lately.

"It's too cold," he said. But when he does go outside, he likes to ride his mountain bike and shoot hoops.

Joey still has to go to CHOP once a week for blood work and other tests to see if his body is accepting his new kidney.

That's why he cherishes the little things in life.