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We first met Franco and his mom Alina in 2019, as they prepared to walk in their first NKFM Kidney Walk at the Detroit Zoo. His story even caught the attention of the Dearborn Press and Guide. Five-year-old Franco Bajjey of Dearborn Heights has hope for a healthier life very soon. Franco was born with hydronephrosis of the left kidney and a nonfunctioning right kidney. Hydronephrosis means the kidney does not drain urine properly, which causes swelling and kidney damage. Monitored closely at Children’s Hospital in Detroit, Franco takes several different medications and receives other treatments.

Franco is now at an age when his doctors say that he would be eligible to receive a life-changing kidney transplant. Franco’s mom Alina has been tested and will be a perfect match as a donor for Franco when the time comes. In the meantime, Franco’s family has been focusing on sharing his story and helping other families in similar circumstances.  In 2019, Alina organized a team of family and friends to walk in the 2019 National Kidney Foundation of Michigan Kidney Walk at the Detroit Zoo. The team “Frank the Little Tank” is named after Franco. In 2021, the team raised over $1,300! Each year, at the Kidney Walks, Alina talks with other moms whose children also have kidney disease. “I love to share my story with others,” she says. “I walk because I know there’s more people like me. I also want to help support research.”




Alina and Franco Bajjey at KW 21