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Detroit educator donates kidney to longtime babysitter

Posted at 10:15 PM, Dec 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-13 23:16:47-05

(WXYZ) — A woman slowly fading away from kidney failure was given a second chance at life thanks to an unlikely donor.

Robin Cahillane was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease more than two decades ago. She went on dialysis 18 months ago, then a hero showed up. The woman whose children Cahillane would watch at her daycare provided a gift that would bond them together for a lifetime.

"Two years ago I went on the kidney transplant list," Cahillane said.

And a week ago, she got that kidney, just in time for the holidays.

"You guys, at some point we were thinking this might be the last holiday if something doesn’t happen," said Cahillane's son Dominic.

He added that his mother was getting more and more weak, that she was deteriorating without a kidney.

That's when a miracle happened.

Martha Burch has known Robin for a decade. She took her kids to Cahillane's daycare. Burch says Cahillane gave her the gift of being able to juggle life and work, and now she's like family.

"I could not imagine her not being with us because none of us could help, and I knew that I could help," Burch said.

So she stepped up and gave a gift of her own – one of her kidney's to an ailing friend.

"Whats sad is it seems hard to convince people," Burch said. "Yea, I really do just want to help her. Like, she didn’t pay me. She didn’t do anything sketchy behind the scenes because that’s illegal. its just a no brainer once everything matched."

And now, Burch's gift keeps on giving, and is providing Cahillane with a new lease on life.

"She saved my life," Cahillane said. "She’s my hero. Not many people would do such a selfless act. I want to see my sons get married, have children, and I'll be here for that now."

To learn more about giving the gift of life, visit Gift of Life Michigan to find out how to become an organ donor.