WJBF Family Member Gives The Gift Of Life

WJBF Family Member Gives The Gift Of Life (Image 1)

Ashlee Edwards spends her working hours at Television Park, helping the station run smoothly. While she's away from work for the next few weeks, she'll be saving a life…

“I will be donating my kidney to my 12-year-old cousin, T.J.,” Ashlee tells us.

T.J. was born with a birth defect called Posterior Urethral Valves. This is when the bottom of the bladder is closed, making it nearly impossible to use the restroom. Now, he's 12, active in sports, and in need of a kidney…that's where cousin Ashlee comes into the picture.

“We've all known that eventually he would need a kidney one day and the time is now here,” Ashlee tells us. “It wasn't a decision I had to think about. She shared the information and I wanted to help,” she adds.

Now, Ashlee's helping in a big way. Wednesday, she and T.J. were scheduled for surgery. Doctors were to take one of her kidneys and give it to him. This birth defect affects one in 8,000 male births in the U.S.

“Since the beginning of this, we have felt that T.J. was here for a greater purpose. The timing was too perfect and the fact that she was the first person tested and the perfect match, it just felt like this was suppose to happen,” says Ashlee's friend, Annette Smith.

Annette is apart of Ashlee's support system, along with the rest of her family…making them all feel that a bigger plan is unfolding.

“This was meant to be, it has all worked out a little too well. You can't take fate for granted,” Annette adds.

Doctors told Ashlee to expect a successful transplant…and while she'll be away from work for a few weeks, this surgery should not affect her quality of life. She'll still be able to work out and have kids.

Update: This story was originally shot before Ashlee left. We can tell you that Ashlee and T.J. had successful surgeries Wednesday, and that both of them are doing great and resting.

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