Boy’s struggle with rare kidney disease is over |

Boy’s struggle with rare kidney disease is over

Justin Jake Rumpler, whose struggle with a rare, genetic kidney disease was profiled by The Union, died March 9 at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. He was 2.

Justin, who lived in Penn Valley, had an autosomal recessive form of polycystic kidney disease that doctors discovered when he was born in 2005.

Despite his physical difficulties and frequent trips to the hospital, including for the removal of a kidney at 15 months, Justin enjoyed scooting across the floor, playing at Western Gateway Park with his big brother, Morgan, playing basketball on his little hoop and watching basketball on television.

He was a big fan of Elmo, the cheerful Sesame Street character, and especially enjoyed driving his Elmo car. Mealtime was always a favorite moment.

The outpouring of support for Justin during his short life allowed him to live it more happily in his last year, his mother, Laura Rumpler, said Tuesday.

“Thank you to everybody who supported us, financially and emotionally, through that experience,” Rumpler said. “Thank you to all the different people who worked with him and cared for him as he grew and had a chance to enjoy being with us here at home.”

Though polycystic kidney disease, or PKD, is incurable, it can be treated with medication for pain, high blood pressure and urinary infections. PKD affects 600,000 Americans and 12.5 million children and adults worldwide, according to the PKD Foundation, which has a support chapter in Sacramento.

Visitation for Justin will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 14, at Hooper and Weaver Mortuary in Nevada City. Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 15, at Sierra Presbyterian Church. Scott Dixon will officiate.

Justin was born May 31, 2005, in Grass Valley to Eric and Laura Beth Rumpler.

Besides his parents, he is survived by grandparents Al and Pat Rumpler and Pat and Stan Morgan; brother Morgan Rumpler; nana Marie Kirby; uncle Jake Kirby; aunts Sherry, Terry and Cathy; uncles Peter and Mark; and cousins Henry, Eli and Jonah.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Logan Jake Rumpler.

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