Born in November 2004, Belle Helton was diagnosed just a month later with congenital nephrotic syndrome, in which case an abnormal protein in the urine causes the body to swell. Belle's parents, Kyle and Michelle, were told their daughter's kidneys would not last longer than 18 months.
As the Heltons approached the first anniversary of Belle's diagnosis, doctors said she showed unexplained improvement—while she still had the disease, it was not damaging her kidneys. Then, in March 2010, 5-year-old Belle experienced renal failure and started dialysis. Though both parents were a perfect match, they decided Michelle would donate her kidney.
Before moving forward, however, Michelle had to undergo a mammogram. She learned she had two malignant tumors in her left breast—something that could have gone undiagnosed for years if her daughter had not needed a transplant. Belle's surgery was put on hold as Michelle received aggressive doses of radiation and chemotherapy. In February 2012, Kyle gave his kidney to his daughter.
Thanks to the life-saving care at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Belle is now a thriving 11-year-old. Legacy gifts to Children's lead the way to miracles every day. Contact us today to learn how you can help save children's lives.
To watch and learn more about Belle's inspiring story, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOp9IZ7sGIY!.