10-month-old Michigan girl born with rare kidney disease waits f - WNEM TV 5

10-month-old Michigan girl born with rare kidney disease waits for transplant

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A Michigan couple is counting their blessings this holiday season as they prepare for their daughter's first Christmas, and they're hopeful their little girl will soon receive a life-saving kidney transplant.

The moment a mother meets her child is unforgettable.

"It's just indescribable how much love and how much pain you feel when she feels pain,” said mother Emily Payne.  

Payne waited six days to hold her baby girl for the first time.

"They really pushed for us to be able to hold her that day because they knew she was going to surgery and they didn't know if she would make it through that,” Payne said.

Born with autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease (ARPKD), Rilynn Rose had both of her kidneys removed when she was just a week old.

"So many people told us she wouldn't survive and she's just really overcome everything. She's just really known as a miracle child,” Payne said.

Now 10 months old, this miracle baby is hooked up to a dialysis machine 12 hours a day.

"And then this one is her catheter for dialysis right here,” Payne said.

With each dialysis treatment, Rilynn runs the risk of an infection.

"You think you're safe and then all of the sudden you're not,” Payne said.

Rilynn is about two months and two pounds shy of being eligible for a kidney transplant.

"She's got a whole life ahead of her and she's already going through a lot more than I ever have,” said Zach Payne, Rilynn’s dad.

The emotional and financial toll is a struggle, though.

To become her daughter's full-time nurse, Emily quit her job at the Secretary of State's Office, where people decide whether to be an organ donor.

"I just wish I could go back and share her story and share that we could give her such a better life if you could donate,” Payne said.

One checked box could save Rilynn's life.

The Payne family has partnered with the Children’s Organ Transplant Association to help raise money for the life-saving transplant. >>Click here to donate<<

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