Resources and information for parents of children with cancer . . . by parents of children with cancer.

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Survivor Issues: Kidney Protection - Sports Pads

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Survivors of Wilm's tumor usually have only one kidney, so protection of this remaining organ is important. Nancy Keene (et. al.) state in Childhood Cancer Survivors: "For sports like soccer or baseball, an eight-inch-wide padded belt can be worn to provide extra protection for the remaining kidney."

Note: these same sports-protectors can also protect the mediport area during treatment. They can also help protect an enlarged spleen.

What have other parents done about this, have they made such a pad, or purchased one? Below are parent comments and links to sources of sports protection equipment.

Parent comments:

Find an athletic trainer (an ATC, certified athletic trainer) in your area, perhaps at the local high school or a nearby college. Or, go to a good sporting good store. Rib pads like those used in football can be adjusted to protect the back over the kidney. These pads hang on straps that go over the shoulders, like suspenders. The best thing would be if someone could fit the pads to make sure they fit correctly.

You can have a kidney guard made by a Orthotists specialist, a medical supply store, or a clinic that makes orthotist devices. (Might be able to have your doctor order it so that the cost can be paid by your medical insurance.) One parent had one made - it looks like a half back brace, it goes around the kidney area and then instead of going around the front it fastens with two straps and velcro. It is made of lightweight plastic so it is fairly light. Have them wear a large T-shirt over it. "It was pretty expensive (around $350.00) but our health insurance covered it with a prescription from the doctor."

A less expensive alternative is a LaCrosse back guard which can be purchased at most sports stores.

A company called Sports Performance Products makes all kinds of protective devices for kids in sports. One parent reported purchasing a chest protector from them for use over the mediport, stating that "sports stores never carried exactly what we needed."

The following suggestions followed a question about protection for mediports during baseball:

Get a rib pad/belt at a sporting goods store. It's designed for football, but can be used for any sport. When my son was playing football, his shoulder pads covered his port, but we wanted a little extra protection and made some custom shirts for him. We took old slightly small t-shirts (so they were snug and didn't shift a lot). Then we marked where the port was on the shirt. Then I cut the pocket off other old t-shirts and or made a pocket with a piece of old shirt and sewed it over the port area. Then I got a piece of 3/4" foam-pretty dense stuff, not the open cell foam; cut a piece the size of the pocket and put that in the pocket. He never had any problem with his port with the pocket and pads.

You can get a special vest for batting. Direct Sports carries such a vest - it costs about $40. Go to the site below and click on "protective." They even have a specific device for "heart and kidney protection."

You might try the sort of protection used by motorcycle riders. They have a shirt with pouches that you can insert the protector of your choice (like, shoulder, elbow, kidney, etc.)

Another choice is a kidney protector belt, try:

A less-comfortable choice is a turtle-like shell for the back, used in bicycle racing.

Evo Shield

This company contacted the webmaster and asked for a link. They have a Chest/Rib Protection shirt for youths, and they make custom protection for people based on their needs. It might be worth a try:

Baseball Rampage

This company contacted the webmaster and asked for a link. They offer a Chest/Rib Protection shirt for youths.


This company contacted me and asked to be listed here:

Sports Performance Products

Chest protectors, molded to the individual and lightweight; company offers other products as well (front shields, rib protectores, etc.)

NOTE: readers are having problems locating this company 5/2004; I'm leaving the listing here just in case it is not totally out of business.

General Disclaimer

These pages are intended for informational purposes only and are not intended to render medical advice. The information provided on Ped Onc Resource Center should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you suspect your child has a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

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