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A fund to help manage Walker’s double lung and kidney transplant recovery. To help him to re-start his life and regain strength in all ways. To God we give all the Glory for this miracle of transplant. His body has been very happy with this new arrangement since the get go!! 



Howdy Folks   9-11-22

The summer heat is on the way out, college football is back, and Walker’s health is the bomb dot com. Oh yea and Juul agrees to pay nearly $440 million to 30+ states to stop litigation against them for marketing their Very! addictive nicotine based Vaping products to under age kids, your kids. And on a down note, the FDA continues to allow the sale of every flavor imaginable of disposable vaping pens (see picture) easily purchased with a fake ID at down market gas stations everywhere. Isn’t that just BS. That stuff has never been tested and approved as safe to use yet our government seems to think it’s ok that millions of America’s youth should have the freedom to buy it and you can be sure it’s kids who are smoking (Vaping) flavors like Peachy Rings, Island Orange, & Strawberry Macaroon. Take the time call your congressman and lodge a complaint! 

Last Wednesday Fox News came to our house to interview Walker and his Dad seeking our response to the news about the Juul agreement. This is probably the 10th or 11th time Walker has been interviewed about the Vaping epidemic and he and his parents will continue to speak out doing our part to call attention to the dangers of Vaping. If a digestible food product at Publix was known to cause an illness as bad as EVALI (E-cigarette or Vaping Use-associated Lung Injury) it would be yanked from the shelves immediately and there would be hell to pay for the company. So, how is it that a digestible product like Vaping pens is allowed to continue to sell openly in public knowing the real dangers it possesses to our youth not only for addiction but often causing permanent lung damage. A recent June 13th, 2022 article in US News & World report spells out in plain language the dangers of these products that are cheap and readily available. 

“ A substantial proportion of patients continue to be wracked with breathing difficulty, brain fog and mood disorders a year after their initial diagnosis with EVALI (E-Cigarette or Vaping Use-Associated Lung Injury), according to researchers at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City. Twelve months after their diagnosis, many EVALI patients said they still had lingering health problems that sometimes affected their quality of life: The chemicals used in e-cigarettes can cause long-term damage to the lungs when breathed in, chemicals like formaldehyde,” said Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, director of the Tobacco Treatment Clinic at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, in Baltimore. “I’m not surprised that a patient who develops EVALI is going to have long-term consequences, not in the slightest.”

Last week Walker went to Mayo Clinic for testing and came home with renewed confidence and a big smile. One of his doctors (whose favorite line is I’m James Bond and I have a license to heal 😊) told him that he is the most successful transplant patient they have had in a long time. His case has been smooth from the beginning free from many of the difficulties commonly associated with a major 3 organ transplant surgery. They have been very very happy with the performance of his new lungs, his breathing keeps improving getting better and better. While his physical self is doing great, the greatest challenge he faces now is his transition into a “normal” life. Totally understandable considering he spent the last 3 years fighting for his life while his friends went on with theirs.

Candy and I have had a great time setting up our wonderful daughter Laura at FSU where she feels she is in the right place at the right time. Such a blessing to have things go so well for her as she begins her new life in the Inter-disciplinary Medical Sciences program heading towards her goal of becoming a PA and possibly a doctor. To say we miss her would be a gross understatement. Life outside the panic zone is feeling pretty darn good over at the McKnight house, thanks be to God from whom all blessings flow.

Please pray for Walker to feel confident that he will grow to find his place and that he seeks the help he needs to understand the train wreck he has survived. And please pray that Candy and I move successfully into more fulfilling work lives as our life is slowly returning to “normal”.

Thank you for following Walkers journey and loving on our family. Please let us know how we can pray for you and your family. We would be honored to do so.

The McKnights



Walker texted yesterday “I’ve been cleared to go home and drive!!!!!!!!!!!”

A week ahead of Walker’s 3 month review at Mayo which is next Tuesday July 6th, his doctors said that he is doing so well that he can go home on the weekends and he is now Free! to drive his car. So, Candy and Walker changed plans on the fly to come home for the holiday weekend, a welcome change for all of us. And Walker is out now driving his sporty silver VW Passat with very dark windows and a kickin sound system.

God blessed Walker with some very healthy lungs that have fit right in, so to speak, from the get go and a kidney that gave a little push back in the beginning but soon after got on board with the program. And a couple of weeks ago a third awesome blessing, his gastrointestinal system decided to join the party and started to work like “normal” in that after 3 years of daily vomiting and general malaise, a world class awful stomach, it decided after some new meds to work like old times. Now it’s Food glorious food.

The fact that we have been blessed by the miracle of transplant medicine to get our son back in good health is joyous, incredible, and very humbling. Only God knows why he chose to save Walker from an illness that would have killed him twice and almost killed him at least 3 more times. Only God knows why our hearts were sparred the life long grief that comes with the death of a young child while many we know lost their kids through similar circumstances. Our hearts have been well seasoned to know well enough empathy for the depth of their loss.

And speaking of loss, I have to share and ask for prayer for my brother Peter’s family. Peter passed away suddenly without a known cause on June 14th 3 days before his 63rd birthday. His 3 daughters, his wife, and his sibling’s will miss him so very much, he was a character unlike any other. His zest for life was matched by his love for his family and friends. It was a huge shock to us all. 

As we take time out to celebrate this great country, toast to the freedom we enjoy and to the lives we miss that have touched ours. 

Happy 4th of July and God Bless America!!


The McKnights 

05/25 – Recovery at the Gabriel House next to the Mayo Clinic is going very, very well since Walker moved in on Monday may 9th. With large bedrooms, a huge spacious kitchen area, TV room, library, and screened in back patio, this place makes a wonderful group healing space for fellow transplant patients and cancer patients. Walker & his mom spend most days at appointments at Mayo visiting his many doctors and rehab staff then chill for an early night. 


05/05 – Walker recieved a double lung and kidney transplant on April 6th after 15 hours of surgery. He has done very very well and should be discharged from hospital by the end of this weekend May 7th/8th. He will be staying in Jacksonville for 5 more months because he has to be within 20 mintues driving distance to the Mayo Clinic during this time of recovery. The funds we raise will be used to rent lodging near the Mayo clinic for Walker and His Mom, Candy, for food and all other needs while onsite in Jax in addition to the medical cost that will be incurred. Thank you for your support of Walker and his family at this incredible time of healing and recovery.

Walkers journey began in March of 2019 only 2 months into his freshman year at FAU where he was on scholarship as a cheer athlete. Having never been sickly, it was strange when he came home from school very, very sick with what we thought was a common cold or flu. We were told to take him for evaluation at a local emergency room in Orlando. One chest x-ray later and they admitted him immediately into their ICU. Each day in the ICU his condition got worse until 10 days later his lungs stopped functioning all together from the massive pneumonia infection that tried to end his life. Only decisive action by his doctors to fly him by emergency helicopter to the AdventHealth ECMO floor saved his life.  He was immediately put into surgery where they attached an ECMO machine to his main artery in order to constantly circulate all his blood through a machine which gave him life sustaining oxygen.

Walker came home to his family after an incredible 63 days on life support and over 150 days total in the ICU. His time in the ICU left walkers lungs severely damaged and his kidneys non-functioning.  Since July of 2019, his family, especially his mom, has been fighting to help him recover only to come to the stark realization this year that he will now need a double lung and kidney transplant in order to live beyond the next year. After 3 years of surviving illness after illness with lungs continually on the decline, we are overjoyed at the blessing of the gift of these lungs and a kidney which have found a happy home in Walker, praise God!!

Walker and Candy 4-25-22
Walker and Candy 4-25-22 at the Mayo clinic Jacksonville 3 weeks after transplant surgery
Walker 5-3-22 almost 30 days post transplant


With your help, he and his family will accomplish his dream to be restored to a body that breathe’s normally and lives without daily kidney dialysis. The doctors tell him that life after transplant is a full time job of daily doctors appointments and medications changes and rehabilitation routine. So Team Walker ask that you share this story with your friends and colleagues who want to be part of saving a young life. Walkers transplant fund will be used to help he and his family manage all the medical cost associated with recovery and then maintaining life after his extraordinary transplant surgery.


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