13-year-old runs CAP10K just one year after kidney failure

The CAP10K celebrated its 45th year early this morning after a three-year hiatus. This race was highly anticipated for many, but especially one family who crossed the finish line one year after spending this time last year in the hospital for their son.

Thousands of people took part in the 45th Annual CAP10K through Downtown Austin.

For the Saldana family, taking part in this 6.2-mile event, making it to the finish line was an extra special moment. "It's probably one of the greatest things I've felt in a while," said Jacob Saldana.

At 13 years old, Jacob Saldana crossed the finish line with his mom and dad by his side. He says the feeling was indescribable. "It feels like I've come a long way. I just feel very proud of myself and my family," he said.

His mother and father say they are immensely proud of what their son has accomplished. "I think Jake's been an inspiration not only to his family, but to other kids and other folks who are facing medical challenges," said Paul Saldana, Jacob’s dad.

Just by taking one look at the Saldana family, you would probably never guess that this time last year was one of the toughest times for them. Last year, they were spending most of their time at the hospital for Jacob.

"Last year, around this time, he was at Dell Children's Hospital for a month. Both kidneys were only functioning at 30% capacity," said Paul. 

Jacob was only 12 years old with kidney failure. Just one year ago, doctors were having the tough discussion with his parents about the high possibility of dialysis or a kidney transplant. "Those dark days at Dell, you know, you use your mind to wonder like what is our new normal going to look like?" said Lisa Saldana, Jacob’s mom.

However, one year and around a dozen procedures later, Jacob is almost back to normal kidney function. He sported his medal around his neck proudly to celebrate his run, but also all that he has accomplished.

"We believe in miracles, and he's living proof that miracles happen because [doctors] told us, you know, his kidneys may not recover once the tissues are damaged [because] you cannot recover kidney tissue, so for him to walk through there, it's a miracle," said Lisa.

Jacob will have another procedure next week, but he says that will not stop him from living his life. He says this 10K is just one of many experiences he will have with his family by his side.

"Family is everything and I would say as long as family is there, you can do anything," said Jacob.

Jacob plans to do another 10K in the future.

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