Benefit held for Lexington teen in need of new kidney

By: Brittany Pelletz Email
By: Brittany Pelletz Email


Musicians from all over the Bluegrass and Ohio brought their talents to the Austin City Saloon in Lexington Sunday. Their performances were not just for fun. They served a special purpose.

"We have a bunch of great good ole country boys come together without even knowing me, Braxton, or my family, just out of the goodness of their heart. They got this together," says Michelle Upthegrove, Braxton's mother.

Braxton Upthegrove is 16-years-old and has End Stage Renal Disease.

"It's really kidney failure. But End Renal Disease is just a big name for it," adds Upthegrove.

Braxton's mom, Michelle says he was diagnosed at age four and had his first kidney transplant at 6-years-old, "Because your immune system is so suppressed because of the transplant, he got very very sick. We had to come off the medicine and had to lose the kidney."

Since then, the fight began to find Braxton a new kidney. The musicians and patrons at Austin City Saloon are hoping to help make that possible.

"It just shows they are what they are called: Country Cares. That is truly what it is. These country guys loving doing what they do and love helping out. And I am so appreciative of them," says Upthegrove.

For a $3.00 entry fee, people had the chance to enjoy some good tunes, hit the dance floor, and more importantly help this Lexington teen live a healthy and happy life.

"I am completely overwhelmed. I have tried to come up with words to even speak to these young men that are doing this and it blows my mind," Upthegrove says.

But Michelle Upthegrove says she is not only fighting for her son to get a new kidney, "Bottom line, we have fought very hard for two years to find him a kidney. So my goal is to spread the word, not only about his story but about organ donation awareness."

Upthegrove wants to encourage more Kentuckians to become organ donors because there are thousands of people on the waiting list for a new kidney.

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