Mom saves life of another, now needs help for daughter with kidney disease

Posted at 6:28 PM, Mar 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-15 05:09:58-04

Amelia Hale is a 3-year-old girl who is just like so many other kids.

"She has a huge heart. She's super sweet. She loves her little brother. She's just a great, great kid," says her dad, Matthew Hale.

By looking at her, you wouldn't know that she's in the battle of her young life. Amelia, like more than 100,000 other people in the U.S., is waiting for a kidney.

She was born with kidney disease and only one kidney that's operating at just 15%.

Her parents got tested right away. Amelia's dad, Matthew, was a match, but found out his kidney function wasn't strong enough to donate.

"My function was good enough for me to have a normal life, but I just couldn't give up one," he says.

Amelia's mom, Jessica, wasn't a match, but could donate. So, she took part in a paired donation program.

"If you're not compatible with your donor, they match you up with somebody you are compatible with and you kinda swap," says Jessica Hale.

Last May, the same day Jessica donated her kidney to someone in New Jersey, Amelia had her kidney transplant. It came from someone in Minnesota.

However, what was supposed to work, didn't.

"The chances of this happening are 1%. I felt so bad for her. It was crushing... back to step one," says Jessica Hale.

Since she has one low functioning kidney, Amelia can't take any food by mouth. That's why she wears a backpack that carries food through a tube to her tummy at least 3 times a day.

She's also sensitive to germs. That's why preschool or playing with other kids isn't something they can take a chance on for now because she can't afford to get sick.

She's been going to Children's Hospital of Michigan for treatments to help her chances of finding a compatible kidney.

Even though the first transplant didn't work for Amelia, her mom has no regrets about donating.

"I wish I had more kidneys to give because I would give over and over and over again," she says.

Loved ones and strangers have offered to donate a kidney, but so far, no one's a match.

"She's so sensitized .. there are so few matches out there for her. We really need other people to help," says Matthew Hale.

Amelia's parents have started a Facebook page documenting their daughter's journey. They're hoping people will get tested to help their little girl and others like her.

"If you're not a match for Amelia, there are many, many other people waiting for a kidney. There's just so many people waiting," says Jessica Hale.

If you're interested in getting tested to see if you're a match for Amelia, her blood type is O. So, she can receive a kidney from someone who's O+ or O-. You also need to be in good health, over age 18 and because Amelia is a pediatric patient, under age 50.

If you're interested in learning more on how to be an organ donor, you can sign up by going to From the pull down menu, select DMC or contact the Children's Hospital of Michigan Kidney Transplant Program at (313) 745-KIDS.