Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Local News

April 15, 2014

Concert, BBQ dinner to benefit Cleburne girl

Emily Ball awaits kidney transplant

Cleburne resident Emily Ball, 12, spends eight hours a day on dialysis suffering renal failure while she awaits a kidney transplant. 

“It’s a parent’s worst nightmare,” said Kathy Ball, Ball’s mother. “Emily was always healthy but then started to become sluggish and tired about two years ago and then [went] into kidney failure.”

Doctors determined that Emily Ball suffers from focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a condition in which scar tissue forms in the glomeruli portion of the kidney, which filters unnecessary and harmful substances from the body.

Ball’s older sister, Megan Melton, 23, is a match and plans to donate a kidney to her little sister.

“She’s adamant on donating and pretty much of the mind set that that’s why she was put on earth,” said Michael Ball, Megan and Emily’s father.

Michael Ball said he’s proud of his older daughter, but anxious as well.

“It’s a blessing and a curse, kind of a double-edged sword,” Michael Ball said. “Because that means both of my kids on the operating table. Megan’s an adult and I’m very proud of her, but they’re always your babies no matter how old they are.”

Adding to the stress, Kathy Ball said, is the fact that both girls will undergo their respective procedures roughly simultaneously in separate Dallas hospitals.

Medical expenses are expected to exceed $50,000. Both parents work and have insurance, Kathy Ball said, but were soon overwhelmed by the costs involved. 

Cleburne and Waco residents — Michael Ball is a Waco firefighter — have joined forces to raise money for Ball’s medical expenses.

To that end, a benefit concert and barbecue dinner is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday at the Johnson County Sheriff’s Posse Grounds, 1315 S. Main St. in Cleburne.

Tickets are $50 and $10 for children 16 and younger and must be purchased in advance. 

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