Local Woman And Her Four Year Old Recipient Celebrate First Anniversary Of Kidney Transplant

BUFFALO, NY-- Little four year old Rosie Miller and her friend, Michelle Clark are reading a story together.

They share something else as well: one of Michelle's kidneys.

How the two came together is quite a story in itself.

Rosie and her twin sister were born prematurely.

Both had health problems, Rosie was born with extremely small kidneys that never developed.

Scott Brown: "Early on what did the doctors tell you?"

Virginia Miller, Rosie's mom: "Well when we first had her in Rochester, they told us to stop everything and let her go. I took a lot of time, a lot of soul searching and said as long as she didn't give up, I wasn't and we fought from there on out. If we could keep her alive and well with what we were doing until she was big enough for a transplant that's what we would go for.

Rosie's mom, Virginia had watched a story 2 On Your Side had done about about a local man, Greg Emminger of North Tonawanda who donated one of his kidneys to a stranger, a woman from Florida that he met through a website called the Kidney Connection where people in need of kidneys can post their profiles.

After seeing our story, Virginia put Rosie's profile on the Kidney Connection website.

When a potential donor fell for Rosie fell through, the local paper the Olean Times Herald profiled Rosie's situation, and said she was in need of a donor with type O blood.

It was a story that Michelle Clark of Cuba, New York happened to read. This is the first time Michelle is speaking publicly about becoming a donor.

Michelle Clark: "It just felt right, once I saw her picture and read the article from the day forward it just seemed like it was the thing to do, like it was meant to be. I never had a question that I would be a match, I know it sounds odd. I just knew that this was something that was supposed to happen.

"I knew that I was in God's hands. There had been maybe a few times where I had some questions as to whether or not I would need that other kidney and I just thought, you know what if this was supposed to happen then God will take care of me through the rest of my life."

Virginia Miller: "I knew this one was going to work for some reason. I got goose bumps when she called me and told me what she wanted to do. She had daughters of her own, she knew that it was her calling and when we heard that it was definite that she was a match, let's schedule surgery I mean that was just elating, the whole family cried, it was just great."

Last November 12th, the transplant took place in Pittsburgh and all went well.

Scott Brown: "What has this meant for you?"

Michelle Clark: "It means I've saved a little girl's life, she's lived another year and has made a remarkable recovery and now she can be part of this family and do things that any four year old should do."

In the year since the transplant, the two families have become friends, visiting each other.

And Michelle has watched as Rosie for the first time in her life has become an active, happy and healthy little girl.

Scott Brown: "What has Michelle meant to your lives?"

Virginia Miller: "She's amazing I know she doesn't like to consider herself, but she is definitely a hero to our family. She brought Rosie to be the kid she should be. She was born to me, but Michelle has definitely given her life."

Scott Brown: "What is it like when you see her (Rosie) knowing there's a piece of you inside of her?"

Michelle Clark: "It's very neat to see her and to think what was working in my body is also working in somebody else's body."

Scott Brown: "For people watching thinking maybe I should consider something like this (become a living donor), what would you say to them?"

Michelle Clark: " Definitely, I'm living proof that there are little to no side effects to giving a kidney away, I've continued on with my life as I did before the only difference now is that someone else is benefiting from a kidney I probably wasn't using very much."

Rosie was a little shy during our visit,.but she certainly knew about the new life that Michelle has given her.


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