HOUSTON COUNTY, Ga. — In January 2018, Annabelle Whitaker and her family learned she would need a kidney transplant after being diagnosed with stage five kidney disease.
It took nearly six months for doctors to put Annabelle on the transplant list.
Meanwhile, the Central Georgia community rallied around the Whitaker family with support and fundraisers.
Even with all of the support, the journey for Annabelle wasn't easy.
She's had multiple surgeries and transfusions and has to go through dialysis treatments every night.
Her mom, Heather, says its been a long two year journey that would have been near impossible without support from the central Georgia community.
"She's gotten cards, phone calls, videos, all of that and it means a lot to her," she said.
After a long wait, Annabelle and her family found out May 22 that she officially had a donor.
Her parents said they met Natalie Nuce in 2009 during a trip to Ohio to get Annabelle's service dog. They struck up a friendship by bonding over their love for the Georgia Bulldogs, and they have stayed close ever since.
Annabelle and her father made their way up to Emory this week for her transplant on July 16. Her mom Heather says, because of COVID-19, Annabelle's father will be the only one allowed with her at the hospital.
So, Central Georgians are making sure Annabelle knows how much she is loved by sending videos and wishing her a good recovery.
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