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DETROIT, MICH. – One highlight at this year’s Kidney Ball was learning about and meeting nine-year-old Jaxson Scott and his family from Ann Arbor. A video shown at the event told Jaxson’s story about being born premature and losing the use of his legs at a year old.  Continuing medical issues, caused by a gene mutation that had never been seen before, resulted in his kidneys failing at eight years old.  Fortunately, his mother, Grace Yount, was a perfect match and donated a kidney to Jaxson in August 2018.

Today, Jaxson says the only thing he can’t do like other kids is walk. “Jaxson doesn’t think he’s different. He is so resilient and quite the social butterfly,” says his mom. “Because this has been his whole life up to now, we don’t take anything for granted.  My two younger children, Genevieve, 5, and Abraham, 4, have more compassion after being raised with Jaxson, who uses a wheelchair.”

Jaxson attends 2nd grade at Abbott Elementary School. A nurse is with him at school because of his physical disability. Although Jaxson may be a little behind due to missing a lot of school when he was sick, his teachers say he is very sharp and catching up quickly.

He has played wheelchair basketball and is very active. He likes the Marvel Universe, Spiderman, and watching YouTube videos. “He is also very justice-oriented,” continues mom.  “At school, he always sticks up for other kids. He doesn’t like to see other kids fight.”

Grace works full-time as a waitress in Inkster, where her employer has been incredibly supportive. In addition to letting her take extended time off for the transplant surgery, they held a fundraiser to help with Grace’s expenses while she was out. “I have this wonderful community of support where I work,” states Grace. “And two people that also work here have shared that they have both had kidney transplants.”

In 2018, when Grace was struggling financially, NKFM helped the family with its Emergency Fund. “We are in such a better place now,” states Grace. “I literally had no money and no food when the foundation helped me. And now we are giving back.”

Grace’s giving back started with forming Team Jaxson, and raising money for the NKFM at the 2019 Kidney Walk at the Detroit Zoo. And Jaxson was a wonderful Kidney Kid at the 2019 Kidney Ball.

Read about Jaxson’s adventure as the NKFM’s Kidney Kid at the 2019 Kidney Ball in WeLoveAnnArbor online.

Jaxson Scott, his mom Grace Yount