Kyle Hicks Wins Battle For Long-Awaited Transplant

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Kyle Hicks is scheduled to get a transplant. Those are welcome words that family, friends, and many in the community thought they would never hear.

The Wichita teenager with the rare skin disease, will be heading to the University of Minnesota at the end of this month to receive the bone marrow transplant that could save his life. "It's emotional. I really haven't had time to have a let down in the last two weeks," Kyle's grandmother, Marilyn McFadden, said.

After three years of frustration, hundreds of fundraisers, thousands of participants, dozens of letters and appeals, now there are just tears of joy. Last year, two local car dealers who played a big part in the fund raising efforts, put everyone's frustrations into words.

"You've got the people of Wichita who have given $5, $10, $1,000, $10,000, whatever the figure might be, to get up to $375,000. And you've got more people that are willing to give up to a half a million dollars to save this kid's life, and the insurance companies are going, 'Nope, we won't do it.,' and the hospitals are going, 'Nope, we won't do it., We won't do it without more money'," Dawson Grimsley, of Davis Moore Auto, said.

Meanwhile, Kyle graduated from high school, and enrolled in college to become a nutritionist and food researcher. Kyle told us why he is desperate for the transplant. "I'd rather go down fighting the disease, instead of the disease fighting me," he said.

McFadden says that after years of pleading from dozens in the community, and after the transplant clinical trial was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the insurance company has changed its mind. "It is emotional when you have dreamed of something for so long, and he wants it so badly. It's just amazing and a miracle for us."

The money raised by the Wichita community will be used to pay for the expenses the insurance does not pay.

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