Rockford supports girl through liver transplant

PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Dozens of people attended a Sunday fundraiser for a Rockford-area girl who is recovering from a liver transplant.

Cora Lee, 10, has always had a disease called biliary atresia, which affects the bile ducts around the liver and prevents it from functioning properly. Then in August, doctors discovered a mass on her liver. A follow-up appointment earlier this year revealed it was cancerous.

Cora's parents said they always knew she would have to get a liver transplant, but the cancer diagnosis made the need more urgent.

Cora got her new liver June 12. On Sunday, she returned home from a stay in the hospital at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her parents said she is recovering well.

"She's as tough as they come, as I've ever seen, and I've coached football here for 23 years," her father David Lee said.

The family said they are grateful to everyone who attended the fundraiser at Rockford High School.

"Cora was the one that said, 'I can't wait to say thank you to this family,'" her mother Jennifer Lee said. "This is coming from a 10-year-old. She said, 'They have given me the greatest gift I will ever receive in my life.' She goes, 'I will never be able to pay them back.' And it's just the most amazing gift we could ever receive."

The Lees also stressed the importance of families talking about organ and blood donation.

A representative from Michigan Blood said there is a desperate need for blood donations this summer. You can look for a blood drive near you on the organization's website.

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