The Woodlands girl, 11, awaiting life-saving kidney transplant

A girl from The Woodlands is fighting for her life, but her family is hoping a total stranger will give her the gift of a lifetime
December 27, 2013 5:53:03 AM PST
A local girl is hoping for a holiday miracle and the family praying someone will give it to her. Relatives say she needs a kidney transplant. Her mother stepped in to donate but doctors say it's not working.

The family doesn't know where this gift could come from, but they've got a lot of hope.

Like any 11-year-old girl the day after Christmas, Halle Ludwig can tell you what was under the tree.

"Clothes and an American Girl doll," she said.

But there's something else still on her wish list.

"I'm waiting for a new kidney," she said.

Halle has autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease.

"I can't run a lot or else I get super tired," she said.

She wasn't the first in the family. An ornament adorns the tree for older brother Noah, who died from the same thing at just a day and a half old.

"It was heart wrenching. It was the worst time of my life," Halle's mother, Christine Clinkenbeard, said.

Doctors are amazed at Halle's fight. Some 30 surgeries later...

"She's a miracle, she's here for a reason," Clinkenbeard said.

She's had her mother's kidney since she was 2 and half, but now her body is rejecting it. Halle has to have her mother's kidney removed and needs a new one.

"The things that I bought her would be what she could wear after the kidney transplant that would be comfortable for her," Clinkenbeard said.

Halle's days of child fun are interrupted by medical treatments, from her lungs to getting extra water into her kidneys.

The Woodlands community has helped raise money for her next transplant. While the family is insured, co-pays still cost thousands of dollars.

"There are days I want to curl up under my covers and pretend none of this is happening," Clinkenbeard said.

That's where the Children's Organ Transplant Association gives them hope. Friends and relatives have been in and out of Texas getting tested to see if they are a match.

While the presents under the family tree have all been opened, one last gift could come from a total stranger.

"She wants to be a children's doctor someday. She has so much potential. She's such a beautiful soul. It would be a travesty to lose her," Clinkenbeard said.

The family hopes Halle's story also will raise more awareness about organ donation.

Find Christine on Facebook at ABC13ChristineDobbyn or on Twitter at @christinedobbyn

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