Wiener dog race for organ donation awareness - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Wiener dog race for organ donation awareness

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Joseph P. Riley Stadium was filled with dogs today, but not the kind you usually see on the baseball diamond in Charleston. And the four-legged friends were there to support a great cause and very special little girl.

They're not what you think of when you hear "dog race" but these little dachshunds sure are cute!
Just like 10 year old Mary Ashley Barbot who was the reason all the dogs were gathering on Saturday morning.
 
"I have the most amazing friends and family ever that are hosting this event today. To hopefully raise awareness, to find a kidney for Mary Ashley," says Charlene Barbot, Mary Ashley's mom. The event was a Wiener Dog Race to raise awareness for living organ donation. Mary Ashley is in need of a new kidney from a living donor.
 
"Unfortunately, we are at a point of need a transplant again. we're hoping to make that happen very soon. We've been waiting since, January-ish so 8-9 months now," said Charlene. Mary Ashley is a unique case which is making it more difficult to find a donor.
 
"Mary Ashley's had a kidney before and every time you get a kidney, you develop anti-bodies. And so she has a high level of anti-bodies and it makes it difficult to match to just any kidney that comes up," says Dr. Catherine Twombley, Director of the Pediatric Kidney Transplant Program at MUSC.
 
One thing that is impossible to miss about Charlene, who is a pediatric nurse, is her compassion. In the midst of her daughter's illness she is still thinking of others. Part of her mission is to help not only her own daughter get a kidney but also the other 20 kids in South Carolina who are on the waiting list. Another project she is supporting is the funding for a pediatric dialysis clinic at MUSC. It would be the first of its kind in South Carolina. Part of the proceeds from Saturday's wiener dog race will go to the fund.
 
"We have been so blessed and we have learned so much from so many people that have gone above and beyond what you would ever expect from them. People we don't even know have come out to try to give her a kidney. If people can do that for us, you know, how much does that teach us? We need to do more  to help others as well," says Charlene.
 
The pediatric dialysis unit would be a great help to lots of parents in the community.
 
"Dialysis is a lot more complicated in children than it is in adults. So we want them where we, the doctors, are. We want to be able to give them everything need and everything they deserve," says Dr. Twombley.
 
So while the dogs might have been the entertainment for the morning, the Barbots were definitely the stars of the day.
 
For more information on Mary Ashley and living organ donation visit maryashley.org.
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