2-year-old back home with family in Randleman after weeks of treatment for brain tumor; father hoping for kidney donation

North Carolina

RANDLEMAN, N.C. (WGHP) — Two-year-old Henleigh Gilmer and her family are back home after weeks of proton radiation treatments for her aggressive brain tumor.

The family was finally able to receive the lifesaving treatments after fighting insurance red tape. The treatments are not available in North Carolina.

MRIs scheduled for November should help doctors learn if the treatments worked. 

On Friday, thanks to the RocSolid Foundation and volunteers with Atlantic Bay Mortgage, Henleigh received a playset. 

“It will make me happy because it will make the kids happy,” said Cholly Gilmer, her father.

He, his wife Heather, and their two sons, Jack and Jameson, have been through a lot in recent years. Cholly needs a new kidney to live. A birth defect kept his from growing.

His late mother gave him one of hers 30 years ago which is no longer working fully. He goes to dialysis three times a week.

This week, he learned he’s been moved to the top of the list because of his high school friend Melanie Burgin. 

“My friend donated a kidney for me, and we weren’t compatible, so that moves me up the list,” he said.

While Burgin may not be compatible with Gilmer’s O blood type, her gift is going to someone at the top of the list she is compatible with, and Gilmer will be able to take that person’s spot in line. 

“It’s amazing what people will do,” he said.

His blood type is O. If you are interested in donating, contact Wake Health at livingdonation@wakehealth.edu or (336) 713-5685.

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