No one likes to see a parent sick or going through an extended illness, especially children. So when Diana Zippay’s two young kids learned that their mom would feel better if she got a new kidney, they decided to appeal to the kindness of strangers – in the most endearing way.
In March, 8-year-old Bailey and her 5-year-old brother, Tobias, made an online pitch for someone to become a living donor to their mom, whose Alport syndrome was causing her kidneys to deteriorate.
In the heartwarming video, the two kids sit on a piano bench, flashing cards that ask people to spread the word about their mom’s need for a new kidney.
A family friend, Melissa Deighan, was among the thousands of people who viewed the video and decided to take action. She wasn’t a match for Diana, but she contacted the National Kidney Foundation and found out about a “paired chain” program.
“I couldn’t imagine those kids living the rest of their life without their mom. It just didn’t seem fair to me,” Melissa said. “When you’re a kid, you … shouldn’t have to worry about losing your mom or your dad until you’re far, far, far into your life.”
Through that program, Melissa arranged to donate a kidney to someone who was a match in exchange for a match to donate to Diana. The arrangement worked, and on July 25, Bailey and Tobias’s mom received a kidney from a 40-year-old living donor in Philadelphia.
By participating in the paired chain program, Diana said Melissa helped save her life as well as everyone else’s further on down the chain.
“It kind of creates this beautiful spider web of life. You see organs moving to directions of the weaker side of the web … and you’re bringing them all back to life, essentially,” she added.
Watch Bailey and Tobias make the appeal that saved their mother’s life in the video below. Share to spread smiles – and awareness about the need for living donors.
If you want to find out about helping someone in the paired chain program, go here.