Girl raises money to fund Visalia man's kidney transplant

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An 11-year-old girl's act of kindness will help a Visalia man pay for a kidney transplant. She's been raising money for his operation and she started before she even knew him. (KFSN)

An 11-year-old girl's act of kindness will help a Visalia man pay for a kidney transplant. She's been raising money for his operation and she started before she even knew him.

Meeting people isn't easy for Emily Howell because she's a little shy, "oh boy," Emily said.

But her family helps her shake the nerves, "we all stick together," Her mom Sandra added.

Such was the case this week, when Emily went to see Mike McGuire at his wife's pizza place in Visalia, We Make U-Bake Pizza.

Mike McGuire said, "I don't even know her and I don't know what I did to strike a nerve with her."

It's not what he did but what he's trying to do. Mike is on a waiting list for a kidney transplant; his third one in 29 years. The first two came from his mom and dad; his body rejected both.

"We're hoping when I get this kidney, it'll be the last one," McGuire said.

The kidney comes with a price: $10,000 for aftercare. He's been saving up, collecting money in a jar on the counter for the day he gets the call, "it used to be the tip jar," McGuire added.

Emily saw it and decided to start her own fundraiser for Mike, "just started saving up, finding money around the house in the doors, in the couch," she said.

She also asked her neighbors for help and even sold all her old clothes in a yard sale. After a couple weeks, Emily came up with $74.44.

"I always say, 'every penny counts.'"

Mike McGuire said, "it's overwhelming, it's hard to believe someone could care that much about a stranger."

Strangers, they might be, but Emily understands Mike's struggle. Her dad is a dialysis tech and her mom, Sandra has been on Dialysis for a year, hoping to get on a transplant list.

Sandra Howell said, "the whole family is going through it."

To help -- drop donations off at 'We Make U-Bake Pizza' located at 601 W Murray Ave in Visalia.
Or donate online at https://www.gofundme.com/r9njyk5g
Related Topics:
newshealthtransplantfundraisergood newstulare countyVisalia
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