About Shafer Daves

About Shafer Daves

f:id:DSDstorage:20130109165108j:image:w240:leftShafer Bray Daves, son of Kevin & Jada Daves, was born October 15, 2009 with an extremely rare medical condition of which there have been only 200 diagnosed cases in the world. The syndrome is caused by a genetic mutation that includes chronic kidney disease leading to failure by age 3, kidney cancer (known as Wilms’ Tumor) in many cases, and other difficulties. Shafer's kidney function declined rapidly due to End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) in October 2010 resulting in a double nephrectomy (full kidney removal surgery). To bridge to transplant, Shafer was on peritoneal dialysis eleven hours a day to sustain his life, and received his nutrition primarily through a feeding tube. Shafer's medical team approved his mother to be the living donor for her son, as she was a 6 antigen perfect match..Jada & Shafer were successfully transplanted on June 22, 2011 at the Rascal Flatts Surgery Center at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville, TN.

(Video updated on 9/22/2012)

f:id:DSDstorage:20130109165106j:image:w240:rightShafer and Mommy (Jada) in the garden at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital five days after surgery.

Shafer has already had five major surgeries, with a future of medical uncertainties ahead. Even though the initial diagnosis of this life-threatening illness gave the Daves very little hope, the Lord has supernaturally touched Shafer to provide hope and healing time and time again. The family asks for your prayers as they travel this challenging, yet miraculous journey. They are incredibly grateful for your outpouring of love and support.

The cost for a kidney transplant often exceeds $500,000, which can be overwhelming for a family. While Shafer's insurance will cover a great deal of this financial burden, the expected out-of-pocket costs are estimated to be $75,000. The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is a national 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant patients. This money is being raised on behalf of Shafer with the help of many family members, friends, and volunteers who have a passion to help the Daves family. Donations can be made to COTA in honor of Shafer D. 100% of the funds raised will go toward transplant-related expenses and are fully tax-deductible.


Here's how you can help:
•Donate time and talent - contact Kevin at 423.802.0964 or by email at kevin@jadadaves.com to find out when the next volunteer meeting will take place.
•Donate money - the goal is to raise at least $75,000.
•Watch Shafer's website (COTAForShaferD.com) for information about fundraising activities—then attend/support the events.
•Make a secure online donation right here.
•Make a deposit into the COTA for ShaferD account at any Branch Banking & Trust (BB&T) bank. Please use account #0005108460395.
•Send a check, payable to COTA for ShaferD, to:

Children's Organ Transplant Association

2501 COTA Drive

Bloomington, Indiana 47403

All donations are tax-deductible.
Monetary gifts of $75.00 or more will receive a statement of giving from COTA

Denys-Drash syndrome (DDS)

Denys-Drash syndrome (DDS) is a rare disorder consisting of the triad of congenital nephropathy, Wilms tumor, and intersex disorders resulting from mutations in the Wilms tumor suppressor (WT1) gene. Nephropathy is a constant feature; in the incomplete forms of the syndrome, the nephropathy is present with either Wilms tumor or intersex disorders, but the vast majority of patients with Denys-Drash syndrome are destined to develop Wilms tumor in any residual renal tissue. See the image below.

Gross nephrectomy specimen shows a Wilms tumor pushing the normal renal parenchyma to the side.

The characteristic nephropathy in Denys-Drash syndrome is termed diffuse mesangial sclerosis.[1] This condition clinically manifests as an early onset nephrotic syndrome and progresses to renal failure during the first 3 years of life. Among the intersex disorders, pure gonadal dysgenesis with male pseudohermaphroditism is the classic presentation, although a wide variety of abnormalities in gonadal differentiation can be encountered.


Denys-Drash syndrome is the result of mutations in the WT1 gene on chromosome band 11p13.[2, 3, 4, 5] The WT1 gene contains 10 exons that produce 4 different messenger RNAs (mRNAs) as a result of 2 alternative splicing sites in exons 5 and 9 that, in turn, encode 4 different isoforms of the WT1 protein. Splicing at the second alternative site (exon 9) is thought to have a great biological importance and results in the inclusion or exclusion of 3 amino acids, lysine, threonine, and serine (KTS), yielding the KTS-positive isoform when the amino acids are included and KTS-negative isoform when excluded. The precise ratio of the KTS-positive/negative isoforms seems to be crucial for the normal function of the WT1 gene.

The WT1 protein is a transcription factor predominantly expressed in the embryonic kidneys and gonads. Exons 1-6 of the WT1 gene encode the regulatory domain, which regulates expression of target genes, and exons 7-10 encode the 4 zinc fingers of the DNA-binding region of the WT1 protein. The WT1 protein mediates the mesenchymal-epithelial transition and differentiation during morphogenesis of the kidney and gonad by repressing genes that encode cell proliferation factors and by activating genes that encode markers of epithelial cell differentiation.

Point mutations in the WT1 gene result in loss of its regulatory function, with the consequent abnormalities in glomerular formation and gonadal differentiation seen in Denys-Drash syndrome. Mutations that disrupt the second alternative splicing site of the WT1 gene alter the normal ratio of KTS-positive/negative isoforms from 2:1 to 1:2 and result in abnormalities in glomerular formation and gonadal differentiation seen in Frasier syndrome. In striking contrast, complete deletions of band 11p13 result in the Wilms tumor, aniridia, genitourinary malformations, and mental retardation (WAGR) syndrome, which is characterized by structural urinary tract abnormalities without nephropathy.


Frequency International

The frequency of Denys-Drash syndrome is unknown. Worldwide, more than 200 cases of Denys-Drash syndrome have been reported since 1967 when Denys et al originally described a child with nephropathy, ambiguous genitalia, and Wilms tumor.


Mortality and morbidity are high because of the natural history of the nephropathy and the high risk of malignancies.

Nephropathy: Patients with Denys-Drash syndrome develop early-onset nephrotic syndrome, have a high prevalence of severe hypertension, and experience rapid progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Malignancy: The vast majority of patients with Denys-Drash syndrome are destined to develop Wilms tumor in the native kidneys and are at significant risk for development of gonadoblastoma in the dysgenetic gonads.


Denys-Drash syndrome has no race predilection.


Although both sexes can be affected, the presence of intersex disorders makes the estimation of the male-to-female ratio misleading because individuals with Denys-Drash syndrome who are assigned the female gender may be genotypic males (XY gonadal dysgenesis with female phenotype). Ascertainment is also biased toward children with ambiguous genitalia (males), whereas diagnosis in females may be delayed or not established.


Nephropathy: Nephrotic syndrome usually manifests in infants aged 2 weeks to 18 months. Progression to ESRD occurs within weeks to 2 years from the time of diagnosis or before the age of 3 years.

Wilms tumor: Median age at discovery is 12.5 months in cases associated with Denys-Drash syndrome, as opposed to 36 months in patients with isolated Wilms tumor without Denys-Drash syndrome. The earliest tumor onset was in patients with truncation mutations (12 mo, 66 patients) compared with missense mutations (18 mo, 30 patients).

Intersex disorders: These conditions usually manifest at birth.