Ask a typical 11-year-old, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and you’re likely to hear “sports superstar” or “rock musician.” Ask Kaleek Beatty, though, and his unhesitating reply is, “kidney transplant doctor.”
“I want to be able to help other kids the way the doctors at Duke helped me,” answered Kaleek, reflecting the same upbeat, can-do attitude of his mom, Latisha, and dad, Corey. Latisha added, smiling, “If Kaleek says he’ll be a doctor helping kids with kidney disease one day – count on it.”
Kaleek was born with posterior urethral valves (PUV), a condition that affects about one in 8,000 boys and occurs when a boy is born with extra flaps of tissue in the urethra, the tube that leads from the bladder to the tip of the penis. The flaps block normal urine flow, which can cause painful and frequent urination, recurrent urinary tract infections, and urinary backflow (when urine flows backward from the bladder into the kidneys). This can lead to tissue damage and chronic kidney disease.