WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WKBW) - She's more than just a 5-year-old. Isla Stadler is a young gardener, best friend, and sister.
She grew more than 40 pounds of vegetables and sold them Thursday afternoon to raise money for her 3-year-old brother, Arlo, who is battling a rare form of kidney disease.
"He has short hair, and he has a special blanket with turtles on it," Isla described Arlo.
She sold baked goods for $1, and a bag of veggies for $2. Isla is donating all the money to The Kidney Project, which is a team of researchers at the University of California, who are working to create an artificial kidney implant that will help people just like Arlo.
"Unfortunately, we don't think that our veggies will cure his kidney disease," said Melissa Stadler, Isla and Arlo's mother. "But we're glad to know that there's a team out in California doing everything they can to help kids like him."
Arlo's chronic condition could recur in a donor kidney. This device would help prevent that.
"There really is a need not just for kidney donors but also for a device that would prevent recurrence in transplants in organs," said Melissa. "It would also prevent people from needing to take really strong immune suppressants."
The Kidney Project is trying to raise $8 million to get the device through clinical trials and into the hands of patients. Thursday afternoon, Isla was able to raise $604 for one reason.
"To help my brother feel better," said Isla.
Her parents agreed to match every dollar she earned.
"We like the kids to know that whenever there is a problem out there, no matter how big or how small, you can always be a part of the solution," said Melissa.
We reached out to The Kidney Project about this story. This is what they had to say:
"Many thanks for organizing the fundraiser! The Kidney Project team appreciates the contribution, and with support from this family and others, we will get the implantable artificial kidney to patients sooner than later," wrote Dr. Shuvo Roy, one of the leaders of the project.
If you would like to donate to this cause, you can go to their fundraiser page.