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CHILD HERO:
NICOLE BEAL
by Ashley from Milton

Nicole Beal

Nicole Beal, an 8th grade student from Milton Jr. High School, was born in Burlington, Vermont with a disease dealing with the kidney.

Her disease, called Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), disables the kidney from working properly and can be life threatening. When the kidney can't work properly it is unable to clean out the blood, which can cause infection. This process is irreversible. Nicole was lucky to find that she had this problem at birth, so the steps to prevent End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), which is the most feared consequence of Chronic Kidney Disease, could be taken. Even though she had a disease she still was able to enjoy the things that she loved like gymnastics and dance.

Last year on April 19, 2006, Nicole was given the opportunity to get a kidney transplant. However, in order to make this dream a reality, her family would have to pay an expense of $500,000. To reach this goal, her family sought help from the Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) which contributed $10,000 to support her operation. In addition, the town held a fundraiser to help her with her needs and raised a total of $40,000 for her operation. The rest came from her family.

Nicole's operation went smoothly, and she is now able to have a normal lifestyle. "It means a lot to me because someone lost their life and it gave me another chance to live." Nicole writes, "To other people it may seem like nothing, but to the parents of the person that died they had a big heart to donate their child's organ." She also says that at first she felt weird taking so many pills, but they give her a sense of normalcy and the opportunity to be a normal kid.

Nicole is definitely a hero within, because not only did she overcome something that most people may shy away from, but then after it was all said and done, she came out of it shining and still had a positive outlook on life. She is courageous and full hope. She is always smiling and is never a poor sport, but most of all she is a good friend. Her whole life was consumed by medications and people doubting that she would come out okay. Although her friends and family stood by her the whole way, I'm sure that there were scary moments for her. But despite all of these times, she pressed forward and kept going. To do this I think takes a lot of perseverance and faith in what you're doing. Nicole is truly a hero.


Written by Ashley from Milton
Last changed on: 7/1/2007 5:14:55 PM

Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) "helps children and young adults who need a life-saving transplant by providing fundraising assistance and family support."

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