BROWNSBURG — Six months after Fox 59 first met 4-year-old Bella Cruz and her mom Gia, the two are enjoying a new lease on life and serving as an inspiration to others.
Bella has been through a whole lot for just a young girl. In June, her mom Gia prepared to donate her own kidney to Bella, who was born with chronic kidney disease.
“It feels like a blessing, really, to be able to do this,” Cruz said back then.
Now, six months later, Bella is practically a new little girl.
She’s speaking a lot more, singing – something her mom says she rarely did before surgery – and has a ton of energy.
“She’s just so much happier now,” Cruz said.
Gia Cruz is doing well, too. She said that despite living with one kidney, she’s never been better.
“I feel great. I am actually training for my first half marathon, something I never thought I would do,” Cruz said.
She’s hoping their story will serve as an inspiration to others, when they see how much a living organ donation meant to Bella and gave her new life. That message will prove especially important years from now, as Bella will likely need a new kidney again when she’s about 20 years old.
“I can’t say I wouldn’t have done this if it wasn’t my daughter and been aware of it, but I just encourage anyone who maybe knows someone out there who is looking for a kidney to consider it,” Cruz said.
For more information on living kidney donation, go to the IU Health website here.