Father To Give Daughter Ultimate Gift

It's been said there's nothing like the bond between a father and a daughter. For one Lewisville man, that bond means what some might consider a sacrifice -- to save his little daughter's life.

When you're a kid, you shouldn't have a care in the world. The blonde streak of lightning bounding through her family's Lewisville home is Avalee Byrd. She turns five in November, and has seemingly endless energy.

But appearances -- can sometimes be deceiving.

"It's impossible to describe unless you've been there and done it," said her father, Jeremy Byrd. "Everyone says it's like a kick in the gut, and that's true."

Jeremy speaks of the news he and wife Stacy received when their daughter was just six-months-old. Their little girl was diagnosed with Wilm's Tumor, a rare form of cancer. Because of the disease, both of Avalee's kidneys were removed by the time she was eight-months-old.

"She's been in the hospital more times than we care to think about," he said.

Avalee has already had twelve operations. For twelve hours each night, she undergoes dialysis. She calls her machine "Daisy" – based on a children's book for kids who live with kidney issues.

"Daisy always keeps me alive," said Avalee, standing next to the machine.

But Avalee's next hospital visit, next month, should be a good one. She is cancer free, and finally strong enough, and healthy enough, to get a new kidney.

"I did so good," she said. "And now you here and I'm so excited!"

To find her new kidney, she didn't have to look far.

"It was never a question of whether I would donate or not," said her dad. "Of course I was willing."

"He's so cool and he's so smart," said Avalee of her father.

Jeremy says he's excited about the transplant. At the same time, he's terrified of the potential complications. He expects to be hospitalized for three days. His daughter's recovery will take a few weeks, if all goes well.

In the meantime, several fund-raising efforts are underway for the family, including a garage sale this weekend in Argyle.

Jeremy says most of all, he is blessed – to be able to give his daughter new life.

"I fight cancer!" said Avalee, balling up her fist. "I did so good!"

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