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Birthday parade of hope visits Holland toddler ahead of kidney transplant surgery

Hudson Ireland is battling a rare disease, and her dad Cody is donating his kidney to her.

HOLLAND, Mich. — Dozens of people paid a visit to a toddler in Ottawa County battling a rare kidney disease, with a birthday parade of hope.       

Firetrucks and police cruisers blasted their sirens and flashed their lights for Hudson Ireland in Holland. 

"We're very excited," her mom Kendra said before the parade Saturday afternoon. 

Hudson is ten days out from her kidney transplant surgery, and her dad Cody is the donor.

"You get anxious about it, but I think at the end of the day, I'm just so excited for her to feel good and for her to have a chance at a normal life that she deserves," he said. 

Hudson was diagnosed with congenital nephrotic syndrome when she was nine months old. About a year ago, she had her first kidney removed. Her second was removed around Thanksgiving.  

The upcoming surgery is Jan. 17, just two days before her second birthday.

"The last couple of months have been a little bit extra hard. So that huge uplift and huge push has just given us more fire and just we're ready to keep pushing on," Kendra said.

"(We're) hopefully creating a memorable experience that they're going to remember for a long time," Steve Gorno, a member of Shields of Hope West Michigan, said. 

The organization of public safety officials put on the parade. Shields of Hope West Michigan supports families in the area that are battling cancer.

"Even though Hudson isn't battling cancer, it really is more just about supporting that family that's been through a lot. And really helping them understand that we're in this together and they aren't in it alone," Steve said. 

"Just knowing that people are out there cheering her on," it means a world of difference to us," Cody said. 


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