Falls Mom Is Giving Her Son A Kidney For Christmas

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A little Niagara Falls boy is getting an extra special gift from his mom this Christmas.

While other children are enjoying their gifts on the day after Christmas, a 6-year-old boy, Gene Hilson III, is undergoing kidney transplant surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

His mother, Angela Cheff, 27, is giving her son one of her kidneys.

To Angela, she is happy to be able to provide such a gift to her child. “I’m doing it. The only questions were ‘am I going to be a match,’ and ‘are my kidneys healthy enough?’ “, she said. The answer to both questions is positive.

Cheff, an LPN at Elderwood in Wheatfield, said Gene started complaining last June about having lethargic headaches. He was also vomiting.

His Pediatrician initially thought it was a strep, but results were negative and Gene’s lungs were clear.

His mom, on a second doctor’s visit, noticed her son had gained 4 pounds and his face was puffy. The doctor also performed a urine test which proved suspicious.

Later, Gene had a blood pressure test at Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo and his rate was 160 or 130. Within 15 minutes, the lab test indicated Gene was experiencing kidney failure. The diagnosis was end stage renal disease, she said.

The diagnosis was end stage renal disease, she said.

Since then, Gene has been receiving kidney dialysis four hours a day, three days a week and it has been a rough journey for the boy. The fact that he received dialysis was one of the reasons the hospital team took on his case, according to Dr. Paul Fadakar, a nephrologist.

Gene’s mom was also a nurse and had done much research. “She was very on top of his care,” Fadakar said of Cheff. “It was very evident when I talked to her that she knew what I was going to tell her before I told her a lot of things.”

The surgery takes place on Tuesday at the Pittsburgh hospital. Cheff said the local doctors had been in touch staff from the hospital  “pretty much from the beginning as it is one of the first children’s hospitals to do kidney transplants “and one of the few to do them on children of his size,” she said of her son.

Source: James Neiss

After a typical Christmas morning, where Gene hopes to get some Paw Patrol and Batman toys, Cheff, her son and his father, Gene Hilton II, will leave for the hospital in Pittsburgh, while Gene’s sister, Noriana, 10, remains with family in Niagara Falls.

Afterwards, at the hospital, Gene’s dad will look after Cheff, while her mom will look after Gene III.

“I’m excited and a little nervous,” Cheff said of the laparoscopic procedure, she added, “It’s not fair for kids to be sick … I’m more excited than nervous”.

When asked about the gift of a mom to a child during the holidays, the doctor said “It’s a wonderful gift no matter what time of year, but in a children’s hospital, definitely here at UPMC, there’s no question the medical team, the nursing staff, the ancillary staff and everybody else will be decked out for Christmas around the holidays and it will still take on the feeling of a Christmas present.”

Setting the holiday aside, he said with confidence that the family would be getting the best possible care.

From a surgical standpoint, I don’t think it will be anything our surgeons are not used to doing, but we take each case on its own face and treat it like its the most important kidney transplant we’ve ever done.”


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