2-year-old Colton was born with stage V renal disease and has been battling it ever since, requiring peritoneal dialysis starting at just 10 days old. As a toddler, he is still on dialysis but is finally big and strong enough for a kidney transplant that would allow him to lead a more full and normal life.
His mother, Lisa Chesson, of course, was among the first to get checked to see if she was a match for her son—and she was. But before she could donate a kidney to her little boy, she had to undergo a series of tests to make sure she was healthy enough to give up the organ. One of those tests was a mammogram, which came back abnormal and was followed up by a biopsy. The biopsy revealed that Lisa had early-stage breast cancer.
The cancer that doctors discovered in Lisa’s breast precluded her from being a donor for her son, which is sad, but it was also a bit of a miracle that testing to see if she was a match helped detect breast cancer that could have gotten much worse very quickly if left untreated. Lisa underwent surgery to remove the cancerous area and will not have to go through a long treatment process, thanks to her son.
“Even my oncologist and the breast doctor both said if it wasn’t for you getting it done so early it could have spread and he essentially did save your life,” says Lisa.
This mom is incredibly grateful to her son for saving her life, and now she hopes she can find somebody else to save his. “He is going to need two or three transplants in his life but right now we need a kidney for Colton,” she says. “We are hoping that the donor and the match for Colton is out there.”
Watch the video below to hear from Lisa on the discovery that changed her life and the plan she has to help her son.
More information on the living donor program can be accessed here.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?