Friendship With Kidney Transplant Patient Helps Girl Find Comfort

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University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children'sExperts in Children's Health
Dr. Nguyen with Morgan (left), and Lily.

These sweet 14-year-old besties have UH Rainbow nephrologist Christina Nguyen, MD, to thank for their close bond.

Morgan wasn’t quite 2 years old when she was diagnosed with cystinosis, a rare genetic disease that affects every cell in her body. Lily was diagnosed a low amniotic fluid baby in utero but miraculously survived with a rare diagnosis of STAR syndrome.

The girls' complex medical histories require them to visit multiple pediatric specialists routinely. Morgan and Lily are all too familiar with doctor’s offices for their young age.

When Lily was preparing for a kidney transplant, Dr. Nguyen thought about her other teenage patient, Morgan.

Morgan was born just days apart from Lily and had a kidney transplant earlier in the year. Dr. Nguyen asked Morgan if she would consider connecting with Lily, share her experience and be a mentor. Morgan happily agreed.

The two girls became fast friends. Their moms agree it is as if they are the same person. The two girls share a love for basketball and all things girlie. From sleepovers to outings with their moms -- and even the occasional overlapped doctor’s appointment -- the girls find comfort confiding in each other, knowing their friend understands what it is like to be a medically complicated kid.

Morgan and Lily celebrated their one-year “KidneyVersary” in 2021, celebrating together with their families at a recent Cavs game, thanks to the non-profit Make-a-Wish Foundation.

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