Athletic trainer for University of Pittsburgh donates kidney to 4-year-old

PITTSBURGH — Daniel George lives life like most 4-year-olds. He’s a ball of energy who wants to show you all of his toys and absolutely adores his baby sister. But a few months ago, Daniel’s parents found out he needed a new kidney.

Daniel was born with chronic kidney disease. For a while, it was something the George family was able to manage, but earlier this year, doctors said he needed a transplant.

“It was always keeping us on the edge, because we didn’t know what was coming next,” said Bobby George, Daniel’s father. “And they couldn’t give us a sure answer. So it just kept going and going. And then finally, we got the answer.”

The answer came in the form of Molly Trott. Trott is an athletic trainer for the University of Pittsburgh track and field team. She knew Daniel’s mother Mary Beth Daniel, who is the strength coach for the Pitt volleyball team. That’s how Molly met Daniel.

“I couldn’t imagine going through that. So I wanted to just see if I could help in any way,” said Trott.

Trott underwent two days of kidney testing, CT scans and dozens of blood tests. A few weeks later, she got the call that completely took her by surprise. She was a match to donate her kidney to Daniel.

“My initial response was just ‘wow,’ in there was some awkward pausing and then I just said ‘wow,’ and then there was more awkward pausing and I said ‘Yeah. Let me figure some things out,’” Trott told Channel 11′s Jenna Harner.

Then it was time for Trott to deliver the news to the George family.

Trott got emotional retelling the story.

“I just said, ‘How would Danny like a new kidney for Christmas?’”, Trott said. “Then there was some period of (Daniel’s mom) not believing what she was hearing. So I kept saying ‘No, this is real, they told me I’m a match,’ and then I told her I would like to do it.”

Mary Beth Daniel took the story from there.

“I just stopped in the aisle. I was like, are you serious? Is this real?” Mary Beth said.

To help a 4-year-old during a scary time, the George family told Daniel that Trott is giving him a new “Sidney the Kidney.” When Harner asked him what he thought about (that), he laughed and gave her two thumbs-up.

Harner asked Trott why she felt the need to do this. “Because 20 years from now, he cold be somebody who’s curing cancer or he could just be an amazing human who wants to spread love in the world, just like I’m trying to do for him. Thinking about his potential in that way, it just makes it all worth it.”

On Dec. 7, Trott and Daniel will both undergo surgery for the transplant. It’s something Trott believes was already set in motion and meant to be. The first available day she could get tested happened to be her dad’s birthday, and the date of the surgery is near her grandmother’s birthday.

“Everyone always says they love Pitt because of the people,” Trott said. “Getting to know Mary Beth and Bobby, and how they’ve kind of opened their arms to me throughout this process, it makes you emotional to realize how much love there is in the world.”

Mary Beth Daniel held back tears as she explained what this gift means to her and her family.

“You can’t put into words how much it means that someone is saving your child’s life and making it better.”