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Kaleb Perry and Susie LeRoy

Stranger donates kidney to boy in response to social media plea

A California toddler is doing well after receiving a kidney donated by a stranger who responded to his family's request on Facebook.

When Kaleb Perry's parents found out that neither of them was a match to donate a kidney to their toddler, they were extremely worried.

Kaleb had a congenital condition called prune belly syndrome that interfered with the development of his kidneys before birth. He needed a kidney transplant to survive, so his mom, Mandy, posted a request on a Facebook page she had created to keep friends and family updated on Kaleb's medical situation. In the post, she asked followers to consider getting tested to see if they could donate a kidney to her son.

A recent story on the Stanford Children's Health blog, Healthier, Happy Lives, explains what happened next:

Within a month of posting her plea, Mandy received a message from someone she had never met. It simply said, 'It looks like I'm going to be a good match for Kaleb.'

That message was from Susie LeRoy. She had been following Kaleb's story on Facebook after seeing her friends share links to his page. As a mother of three young children, she says she saw herself in Mandy, and her own children in Kaleb.

'This need could have been put on me. If I have something that can save the life of their son, why not give them that?' Susie said. 'I'm just a piece of the puzzle, and I'm happy to be.'

Susie LeRoy poses with Kaleb Perry and his family. LeRoy donated a kidney to Kaleb after seeing a request from his mother on Facebook.

Kaleb received one of LeRoy's kidneys at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford on May 28. Both LeRoy and 2-year-old Kaleb are doing well. The two families -- who live near each other in the Fresno area -- have formed a special bond from their shared experience.

Photos courtesy of the Perry family

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