Girl celebrating 1st Christmas since kidney transplant - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Girl celebrating 1st Christmas since kidney transplant

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Christmas is the best day of the year for 8-year-old Belle Helton. This holiday has a deeper meaning for Belle's family because of how much has changed in the last year. Belle is celebrating her Christmas since receiving a kidney transplant from her father.

For years, Belle's big brothers, Chandler and Grayson, and her parents watched Belle struggling, sleeping every night hooked to a dialysis machine.

No more.
    
The kidney came from Belle's dad, Kyle, in a year of twists and turns.

"The past year has been very heavy duty, yes," said Michelle Helton.

While both of Belle's parents were a donor match, Belle's father wasn't supposed to be the one to give her a kidney; that was mom Michelle.

But when Michelle went to get screened, and underwent a mammogram: doctors discovered she had invasive breast cancer -- something she may not have known for years if she hadn't volunteered to be her daughter's donor.

For months, Belle's surgery was on hold.

As Michelle fought through chemo and surgery, Kyle stepped in to be Belle's donor.

"Once I'm there, reality set in that I'm about to do this, so it was a big deal , it was," said Kyle.

On February 24, Kyle rolled into the operating room at Emory University Hospital. Across the street, at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, Belle waited for her turn. When it came, surgeons left Belle's failing kidneys intact, but gave her a new adult-sized one from Kyle.

Ten months later, playing around at the Voice studio at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, the new Belle said that she feels great.

She recently celebrated her 8th birthday.

"It's good because I'm not on dialysis.  I got my kidney.  And my family takes good care of me," said Belle.

"She is living the life she always wanted, running and playing and full of energy,"

"Merry Christmas... call me!"

Thanks to her new kidney,Belle is now pretty much unstoppable.  Michelle's cancer is in remission.

Michelle says they will celebrate this Christmas with a huge sense of gratitude.

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