'It was just only right that I gave you a piece of yours back'
COUNTRY CLUB HILLS, Ill. (WLS) -- A celebration of life was held in the south suburbs Saturday, marking one year since a mother received the gift of life from her own daughter.
The entrance was more than a decade in the making, as Pamela McClinton walked into the atrium special events venue in Country Club Hills to family and friends.
"Today we acknowledge you. We love you," said Sheena Owens.
The celebration was for the woman who gave life to Owens.
"It was just only right that I gave you a piece of yours back," Owens said.
Owens donated her kidney to her mother one year ago on February 28.
Before the surgery, McClinton battled kidney disease for more than 11 years.
"I'm still here! God wakes me up every morning and I really appreciate that. I don't take anything for granted," McClinton said.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 2,000 new names are added each month to the national waiting list for organ transplants and about 17 people die every day while waiting on that list.
"She was a high-risk patient and I'm very glad it worked out for her. I wish it worked out for all of my patients," said McClinton's doctor, Dr. Gautam Bhanushali.
McClinton is a mother, who is now thankful for her second chance at life.
"They walked this walk with me. They were there for me," she said.
They are using this anniversary for a bigger cause while giving hope to others who are waiting for their own miracle transplant.
"Not only to just celebrate her, but to bring awareness to living donation, as well as kidney disease," Owens said.
"Keep fighting that fight because it is hope out there, and I'm one of the ones that can show you that it's hope out there," McClinton added. "God is good all the time!"