This story made us smile today, so we had to share it.
There’s a beautiful update on one of the children American Ninja Warrior Kenny Niemitalo raised awareness for in season 10. He’s also sharing the story of another young man in need of a kidney donor.
Over his seasons on American Ninja Warrior, Kenny has shared the heart-wrenching journey he and his family have been on. In season eight, after his run in Atlanta, he told the viewers that his young daughter Hazel was in need of a kidney donor.
Amy, a fan of Ninja Warrior, saw the call for help and decided to donate her kidney to Hazel.
In season 10, Kenny wanted to pay it forward. Each time he ran the course, he wore a shirt with the face of child in need of a living kidney donor. His fantastic season took him to Stage One of the National Finals and raised awareness for Liza Foster and Dillard Ramirez Lawrence.
There’s a beautiful update on Liza! Her family shared in the “Kidney for Liza” Facebook group that she did find a donor!
We are blessed and grateful to announce that Liza received a kidney from Brandon Miller on November 13, 2018. Not only did Brandon donate to Liza, but Frank, my husband and Liza’s father, donated to Brandon’s coworker, Vicki. What a miracle! It was an exciting day. All the surgeries went very well. We will be forever grateful to Brandon and his lovely family.
We are also grateful and indebted to all the doctors and nurses at Wake Forest Baptist Health who have given and continue to give Liza the best care imaginable.
Liza has done amazingly well since her surgery. She is expected to return to school on Jan. 3rd! We are still amazed at her transformation. She seems like a different child. She has so much energy, and her contagious laugh and sense of humor has returned in full force. She has adjusted well to taking all of her new medicine. We thought it was going to be overwhelming at first, but it seems easy compared to her life before transplant. We know that she will have new challenges ahead, but are glad that we can say we have conquered an enormous hurdle. We are also very aware that we have truly witnessed a miracle, and have found new strength and faith from our experience.
God is good!
We know that as a family we want to use all we have learned from this experience to give back to others who are going through the same thing. Hopefully we can offer advice, empathy and caring to families who are in need of someone who understands their situation.
There is great need for more education about kidney disease, donation and transplant. If you or someone you know is interested in donating, please tell them to contact their nearest transplant center.
Thank you to everyone for all the prayers and kind words.”
We don’t care if Brandon watches American Ninja Warrior or not, he’s a hero to us!
Kenny isn’t done with his heroic mission just yet either. He shared on Instagram that he’ll be back for season 11 in Atlanta.
View this post on Instagram
I got invited back for season 11! American Ninja Warrior 2016 I ran in Atlanta and shared that my daughter needed a kidney transplant as she was back home in the hospital. It will be pretty incredible having her there with me this round post transplant! Let's Go!! Let the weird ninja dreams begin One month out ♂️ #ninja #thecall #americanninjawarrior #anw11 #atlanta #ncninja #v12ninja #kidneytransplant #timetotrain #levelup #obstacles #buzzers #staydry
He’s also not done helping other children that are waiting for kidney transplants. Now he’s helping bring awareness to a young man named Jordan.
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Meet my new buddy Jordan, He needs a Kidney Transplant! Jordan and his family have been through more in his 8 years than anyone should ever have to in a lifetime. A kidney match for him will defy some ridiculous odds and give him Life!! A and O blood types he NEEDS YOU! If everyone at least shares Jordan's need we can beat those odds. I believe anything is possible with my God. Email firstname.lastname@example.org ^An auto reply will give you information on living donation @donatelifenc @nationalkidneyfoundation @getloudforkidneys #kidneytransplant #beattheodds #transplant #organdonation #kidneys #jordanrhodes #renalfailure #dialysis #americanninjawarrior #ANW11 #ninjaforkidneys #ninja #V12ninja #pleasedonate
“Meet my new buddy Jordan, He needs a Kidney Transplant!
Jordan and his family have been through more in his 8 years than anyone should ever have to in a lifetime. A kidney match for him will defy some ridiculous odds and give him Life!! A and O blood types he NEEDS YOU! If everyone at least shares Jordan’s need we can beat those odds. I believe anything is possible with my God. Email email@example.com ^An auto reply will give you information on living donation.”
Every time we read about these stories, we get a little choked up. We love Kenny’s dedication to using his platform to help kids in need! You can find more information on becoming a living kidney donor from the National Kidney Foundation here.