A Kidney for Grandpa

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 - 4:04pm

College student donates kidney to her ailing grandpa.

Leah Green gave the ultimate gift this holiday season and she has a sweatshirt that tells the story.

It says, "I'm giving my grandpa a kidney for Christmas... What are you giving yours?"

With no kidneys of his own, her grandfather Paul Thompson, 59, had a long road ahead on dialysis.

"We never really sat down and said 'Hey, I am going to give you your kidney-- thanks,' it was kind of like, let's just see if God lets this happen," the 20-year-old donor said.

She had the operation back on December 14.

Green first went to her mother about the topic.

Her mom then approached Leah's grandmother.

The message then got passed along to Thomas, who said Leah wasn't going to take "no" for an answer.

"She is my own personal little angel," Thompson said. "After everybody worked on me for a little while, it's just an amazing thing that she would do this."

"I didn't want to take the kidney but she she wanted to do it so I've got it, and it's working pretty good."

Leah, who says she was just raised to be a giving person, did hear from her family that donating a kidney is a little different than giving someone a couple dollars, or even the sweater off her back.

After medical testing, doctors gave the procedure the green light.

Even though Leah doesn't think so, her grandfather knows the gesture was grand, but what is even more amazing is that they were a match.

Paul is not Leah's biological grandfather.

"Matching on the first test, the first person you test, is amazing," Green said.

Green says she knew they were the same blood type because the pair had donated blood together.

She says blood donation is simply in her families' blood.

As soon as she could start donating, she did.

Now that she's had surgery, she is frustrated she has to wait a year before she can donate again. It's a policy that she smiles and calls "extreme."

"This has really helped me to grow up, and appreciate life more," Green said.

Green is a sophomore in an early childhood education major at Kent State University, where she is also a resident assistant.

Her busy schedule is posted on her closet door and it now includes time for the gym.

She says that, since the surgery, she is losing weight and is on track to be under 200 pounds for the first time since the sixth grade.

"I appreciate that I can run on the treadmill, and I appreciate everything so much more now, and I appreciated stuff before but I think I just see things in a different way."
 

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