Finding Friendships In The Search For A New Kidney

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- For the past month, Christine Broghamer and her 10 year-old son, Gabriel have been staying at the Ronald McDonald House while Gabriel gets dialysis treatment and waits for a kidney donor. It’s been tough for Gabriel to be so far from their home in Rapid City, but a few weeks ago, everything changed.

Students from an after school program called Miss Jaspers’ House started stopping by the Ronald McDonald house to play with the kids.
“It did not take but a hint of kids here that he went down and he was so excited to be with kids again,” Broghamer says.

Being with other kids has helped Gabriel forget about being in the hospital. It’s even helped ease the worrying that comes with the wait for his new kidney.

Aleta Lindell from Miss Jaspers’ house says she tries to teach her kids to have a servant’s heart. Taking them to the Ronald McDonald house shows them that helping others can be easy. Lindell says there’s something special about Gabriel that has captured the hearts of her students. Once the kids met Gabriel, they’ve gone from volunteering just once a month to now going several times a week.

“He has so much life in him and so much energy. They just wanted to keep coming back,” says Lindell.

They know Gabriel is battling a serious condition, but it hasn’t kept them from just being kids. Though what lies ahead for Gabriel is uncertain, there is one thing he can count on.

“They’ll never forget him. They’ll write notes to him. It gives them a personal connection that they will hopefully carry for their whole life,” Lindell says.

Gabriel’s doctors are working on getting him an at-home dialysis system so he and his mom can head home to Rapid City as soon as possible.

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