NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) —It’s been a long journey for Wade McCall’s short life.
“He was born with kidney failure, so we knew he would need a transplant,” said mother Erin McCall.
It was at Wade’s 20-week ultrasound when first time parents Erin and Phil McCall learned their son was born with a severely enlarged bladder, a condition called bladder outlet obstruction.
“It was really, really difficult, honestly,” said Phil. “You just don’t expect that sort of news, especially during your first pregnancy or any pregnancy really.”
The McCalls soon had to move to Cincinnati where Wade was born and spent six months in the NICU at the local children’s hospital.
Aunt Hannah Leitten and her sister soon realized they needed to step in and help financially.
“First, you know, it’s scary,” Leitten said. “It’s nothing that we’re familiar with.”
They soon learned about the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA), a national charity that helps those in need of a life saving transplant by providing fundraising assistance
“It’s really nice to finally feel like there’s a tangible way we can provide assistance that they don’t have to worry about, too,” said Leitten.
Leitten stepped in to work as a community coordinator for COTA. So far, they’ve raised over $32,000 of their $60,000 goal to help with transplant related expenses.
“This is a huge thing we can just take off their plate and say the finances are on us,” she said. “We can figure that part out; you guys don’t have to worry about it.”
After months of tests, Erin learned she could donate her kidney to her son, with the two undergoing this life saving procedure in early August.
“Those are going to be family memories that we look back on with so much fondness,” Erin said.
Kidney transplants typically last from 12 to 25 years, so this is the first of many transplants Wade will have in his life, but the McCall’s are grateful for the support they’ve received and plan to share that with others.
“We are going to tell him about how he’s been helped,” said Phil. “It’s important for him to know how much he has been helped and how important it is to help others.”
All of the proceeds raised will go to COTA on behalf of Wade for transplant-related expenses.
If you’d like to make a donation, you can do so here.
You can also follow Wade’s journey on Instagram @cotaforwade.