Brothers have kidney transplants, build community hope

Hopebuilders 5K is one way family gives back for extraordinary care

Brothers have kidney transplants, build community hope

Brothers Jordan and Luke Ocampo share an extraordinary likeness. They are the sons of Narciso and Cora Ocampo.

The Ocampos knew before their first son, Luke, was born that he would need to be monitored for kidney problems, but they never imagined that both he and their second son, Jordan – born seemingly healthy – would require kidney transplants.

At Jordan’s one-year check-up, his pediatrician discovered that his weight had plateaued. The doctor wasn’t overly concerned but decided to do some lab work to rule out anything serious. Unfortunately, when the tests came back, they revealed that Jordan was in kidney failure.

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Jordan immediately began treatment and spent the next two years on dialysis, but on Christmas Eve 2012, he received the gift he’d been waiting for – his kidney transplant.

Ten months after Jordan’s transplant, Luke’s health reached a tipping point. Physicians at Levine Children’s Hospital. The family could go through the same process as Jordan – dialysis and then transplant – or they could immediately put him on the transplant list.

On Independence Day 2014, the right donor for Luke was found.

Levine Children’s Hospital undoubtedly has a special place in the heart for the Moore family.

“Hopebuilders is a continuation of a foundation that will hopefully be there for the rest of our lives,” Narciso Ocampo said. “We are very grateful that this team is in place, and it’s such a blessing.”

On Oct. 1, Atrium Health Levine Children’s Hospital kicked off 25 Days of Hope in honor of the 25th annual Hopebuilders 5K. The hospital’s signature fundraising event, sponsored by Barings, typically draws more than 1,200 participants who gather to run or walk together in support of Levine Children’s Hospital.

“The hospital has been there for us from day one,” Ocampo said. “We’ve had a peace of mind that (our sons) will be taken care of from the onset. We are so thankful that the doctors have seen us all the way through.”

They have participated in the annual event for years.

“Our mindset on supporting this hospital is that we are willing to do whatever we can to be part of the cause. We want to be available for whatever we can,” he said.

Given the current pandemic, the fundraiser will feature a different format this year.

“Although we can’t gather in person this year, we certainly want to celebrate the hope that this event continues to bring to our patients and families at Levine Children’s,” said Dr. Stacy Nicholson, president of Levine Children’s Hospital. “This is truly a community event, made possible by the generosity of our longtime sponsors like Barings and WSOC, to the runners, teams, patients and caregivers who all dedicate their time to building hope for our hospital.”

The Hopebuilders 5K was founded by two families whose children were both battling cancer and had to seek medical care outside of Charlotte.

Each day leading up to Sunday, the hospital, via social media, will share stories of hope from grateful patient families, community advocates and even from health care heroes serving on the front lines of Levine Children’s Hospital.

During the final week, participants are encouraged to safely run or walk in their neighborhoods and complete the distance of a 5K.

“We hope the community will join us in making this another successful year for Hopebuilders,” said Callie Dobbins, vice president and facility executive for Levine Children’s. “And we hope you’ll share in the celebrations of our patients who are completing final chemo treatments, receiving lifesaving heart care, learning to walk again after a traumatic injury, living with kidney disease and so much more. These are stories of resilience that inspire us all.”

“Hopebuilders is our small portion of the overflowing care they have given our family,” Ocampo said.

The changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have not dampened the compassion and drive with which our community continues to build hope for patients of Levine Children’s Hospital.

Every dollar raised benefits the areas of greatest need across Levine Children’s, including support for essential medical equipment upgrades, facility renovations, medical research and patient support programs. Levine Children’s Hospital hopes to exceed its fundraising goal of $100,000.

Participants will receive event shirts and bibs in the mail, and top fundraisers will have the opportunity to receive signed Carolina Panthers items.

If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at