Supporting Peyton

Published 10:05 am Monday, April 27, 2009

COAL GROVE — A life-long lesson will take on a literal meaning Tuesday for a 10-year-old Coal Grove student. A lesson she says can not come soon enough.

Peyton Black, a fourth grader at Dawson-Bryant Elementary school will be receiving a new kidney Tuesday from her second cousin. And while the gift of life in the form of the transplant is a lesson all in itself, for Peyton another lesson is the incredible amount of support she received from classmates, administrators and even total strangers.

Born with V.A.T.E.R Syndrome, Peyton had been on a waiting list for a kidney until her second cousin Scott Black, 28, was found in recent months to be a match. Born with only one kidney, Peyton has been able to be kept stable since 2002 when she went into renal failure.

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“Scott and I are very close,” Peyton said while pointing out the irony that the date of her transplant and Scott’s age are both 28.

V.A.T.E.R. Syndrome refers to five different areas (Vertebrae, Anus, Trachea, Esophagus and Renal (kidneys) in which a child may have abnormalities when they are born. Children like Peyton, who are diagnosed with one of these potential deficiencies, will not necessarily have problems in other areas.

There is no known cause, however a gene defect is believed to be involved.

Currently, Peyton travels with her grandparents every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for expensive kidney dialysis treatments.

Those expenses, along with the upcoming transplant costs, have rallied dozens throughout the school district and community to come to Peyton’s support to alleviate the financial burden associated with the surgery.

And what support she has gotten.

Initiated by the students and faculty at Dawson-Bryant Elementary, “Pennies for Peyton” has raised more than $2,600 for her medical costs.

Besides the staff and students in the Dawson-Bryant school district, monies have been raised for Peyton by the Christian Youth Association, the Fifth Grade Drama Club, the Hornet Service Learning Group and Audra Deere.

“Anytime our students and staff get involved in projects like this it makes me proud to be involved in projects like this, said Dawson-Bryant Principal Eric Holmes.

For Peyton, the support of her classmates and teachers will make the surgery go a little easier.

“I’m looking forward to getting back to school,” said Peyton whose favorite subject is art and wants to be a teacher when she grows up. “I will really miss my classmates.”

Peyton acknowledges that she is very lucky to have found a match. Every day, 17 people die in the United States waiting for a donor organ transplants. The list currently stands at more than 91,000 Americans in need of kidneys, livers and heart.

However, the survival rates for those who do receive kidney transplants are nearly 95 percent.

Anyone wanting to donate to the “Pennies for Peyton” campaign can contact the school at (740) 532-6898.