Cheektowaga boy awaits dual organ transplant

Cheektowaga

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Zooming around his backyard, 5-year-old Nate Gebbie’s smile is contagious. At a glance, most would have no idea that he’s living with a painful and rare disorder that affects his metabolism.

“It’s called Methylmalonic Acidemia. And since he can’t process it [proteins], it builds up. And he’s slightly acidic in his body. And if it’s not watched it can turn into ammonia,” said Jeremy Gebbie, Nate’s dad.

Round-the-clock monitoring and a strict medical diet since birth is part of the family’s routine. So are the inevitable trips to Oishei Children’s Hospital. It’s undoubtedly hard on their family, but their support system is strong, unwavering, and the ultimate reward after a long hospital stay.

“He loves family,” said Samantha Ruderman, Nate’s mom. “He flourishes with family. After getting out of the hospital usually it’s one of the aunts or the grandparents that comes over, and it’s like the first big pick-me-up for him.”

After years of treatment, the next step for Nate is a transplant of both the liver and kidney in Pittsburgh. Samantha and Jeremy wait patiently for the green-light from the doctors.

“We have to unfortunately really hold him back, just to make sure he’s healthy enough to stay out of the hospital and get to the point of transplant as soon as we can,” said Ruderman.

While Nate is high on the organ transplant list, playing the waiting game is tough. But his parents know it will be worth it.

“When they do go through with a transplant, it’s like night and day. These kids come out of a fog, they’re able to live a much fuller life.”

A life where Nate can continue to do his favorite things, but without constant pain and limitations.

“It’s giving us something to hold on to that there is good at the end of this for us and for Nate.”

To donate to Nate’s medical bills, click here.

For more information on Methylmalonic acidemia, click here.

Abby Fridmann is an anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of her work here.

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