Pa. mom and daughter thriving eight years after living organ donation

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Sunday, April 24, 2022
Pa. mom and daughter thriving eight years after living organ donation
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The 25th annual Donor Dash returned to Philadelphia this morning. And this family knows what it's like to both give and receive the gift of life.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "My liver was sick," said 8-year-old Jade Moeller. "And mommy gave me some of her liver and it helped."

Jade was five months old when she was diagnosed with biliary atresia in 2014. The blockage of her bile ducts required a liver transplant.

"It was too scary to think about waiting," said her mother, Julia Moeller. "And so, we went to this information session at HUP about being living donors."

Both Moeller and her husband were tested. When it was determined that Julia would be the better match, there was no hesitation.

"They were like, your surgery's next week," she said. "And I was like, okay, let's go. Let's do it."

A procedure split between the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia made all the difference. Eight years later, Jade is thriving academically and living a normal life while taking medicine and seeing doctors in-between.

Her recovery has motivated the family from Lafayette Hill to participate in Gift of Life's annual Donor Dash. Under the team name, "Jade's Jewel," runners and walkers alike took strides in raising awareness for organ donations.

"We're here to support and let people know how important transplant is because it saves people's lives," said Jade.

This year marks the event's 25th anniversary. It was the first time since 2019 that the runs and walk were able to be held in-person.

"In that 25 years, we've tripled the number of donors and really provided thousands of organs for transplant," said Gift of Life Donor Program President and CEO, Rick Hasz.

To learn more about Gift of Life and how to register to become an organ donor, visit their website.

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