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1st grader Nicole Miller gets kidney from her teacher Wendy Killian

1:20 PM, Apr 30, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKYC) -- Eight-year-old Nicole Miller is busy showing us around her hospital room at Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital.

She shows us where Mom, Letitia, and Dad, Brian, have been sleeping the last week and then her hospital bed, covered with stuffed animals.

A week ago Nicole wouldn't have had the energy to hop around like this. Her kidney was only working at 14 percent. She was born with a genetic disorder that left her with one kidney that would eventually fail.

A little over a year ago, Letitia Miller met Nicole's kindergarten teacher, Wendy Killian, for a parent/teacher conference. The conversation turned to Nicole's health and how a kidney transplant was required. Wendy thought about being a donor.

She went through the process and turned out to be a perfect match. Last Tuesday, she gave one of her kidneys to Nicole. A day later, she went to check on her and knew she made the right decision.

"To see a little girl who really kind of sat around a lot, literally bouncing in her bed, I just had to stare at her, I was amazed that made it worth it ten times over I would do everything again in a heart beat," Wendy says.

Letitia says Wendy and her family are now part of hers. They've developed a deep friendship and bond.

"I will forever be grateful to Wendy. She will always have a piece of my heart," Letitia says.

Letitia and Brian say the experience has made them want to pay it forward.  They now want to help others and all of them have been so grateful for the support of their community, friends, church and school.  

Nicole can't wait to get back to school.  Her complexion now has a healthy pink glow and she is looking forward to her favorite subject... recess.

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