If you have ever had the opportunity to meet the amazing little Lorelei Lovelady, then you know how this strong little woman lights up a room. Her thirst for life and shining personality will leave a lasting impression on anyone she crosses paths with.

Lorelei Christine Lovelady, daughter of John and Megan Lovelady (East Moline), was diagnosed with an extremely rare genetic disease called Primary Hyperoxaluria Type 1 on February 28, 2017, at the age of just 6 months old.

Primary hyperoxaluria type 1 (PH1) is a rare disorder that mainly affects the kidneys. It results from buildup of a substance called oxalate, which normally is filtered through the kidneys and excreted in the urine. In people with PH1, the accumulated oxalate is deposited in the kidneys and urinary tract. It combines with calcium, forming the main component of kidney and bladder stones (calcium oxalate).

It was soon determined that Lorelei would need a new liver and kidney, in order to continue her journey. The next year and half would put this family through some extreme trials and tribulations.  Her mother, Megan, stayed with Lorelei in Chicago, traveling between Lurie Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House. Her father John and brother Silas traveled between the Quad Cities and Chicago on the weekends, to assure they were able to spend quality time as a family.

After continuous dialysis treatments and testing, the big day for Lorelei’s new liver came on Thursday July 27, 2017. After being kept paralyzed and sedated for the first 24 hours after surgery, and starting on Continuous Renal Replacement Therapy (CRRT), Lorelei came out of the transplant like the champion she is.

While waiting for her daughter to receive a kidney transplant, Megan decided to take things into her own hands. After one year and ten months of dialysis 5-6 days a week, Megan began the process to see if she could give Lorelei a kidney of her own. The big day arrived on Friday December 7, 2018. After passing all of the initial screening and pre-operation procedures, this loving, selfless and amazing woman gave her daughter a second chance at life.

To celebrate Lorelei’s 3rd Birthday and 2nd Liver Transplant Anniversary, her parents have once again decided to reach out and offer their thanks to the community. The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center will be hosting the ‘Love4Lorelei Blood Drive’ on Tuesday Jul 30 from 3 – 6 p.m. at The Spotlight Theatre (1800 7th Avenue Moline). Donors can register for a slot to donate at https://www.bloodcenterimpact.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/85886.

Megan Lovelady shares she “wanted to do the blood drive as a way to pay it forward for everything we so graciously received during the thick of Lorelei’s battle. I also wanted to pay tribute to her liver donor Weston and help celebrate her 3rd birthday & 2nd transplant anniversary. None of which we would even be celebrating today had it not been for all the blood transfusions she personally received that helped her keep fighting while waiting to receive her first transplant.”

This charismatic little girl has already been through more than most people encounter in a lifetime. Yet she continues to shine bright and impact everyone she encounters with those beautiful blue eyes. She is an inspiration to all. Now it is our turn to give back.

For more information on the Love4Lorelei Blood Drive, please visit https://www.facebook.com/events/422252048361958/.

To keep up with Love4Lorelei updates, please visit the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Love4Lorelei.

To make any donations to the family for travel and medical expenses, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/Love4Lorelei.

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Tess Abney was born and raised in the Quad Cities. Her passion for writing and entertainment was apparent at a very young age. Whether it is sharing local events and businesses with readers or sharing her thoughts on life, she finds comfort in the way words can bring people together.