After kidney transplant, Battle Creek family going to Citrus Bowl

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — After facing a battle with kidney disease with perseverance and positivity, a Battle Creek girl and her family are headed to watch Michigan play in the Citrus Bowl.

Charlie Buckley, 9, was diagnosed with a kidney disease called Nephrotic syndrome when she was 5. Her constant good attitude through years of treatment was an inspiration to her family, friends and community.

In May, Charlie got a new kidney from her dad Nick Buckley at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. The transplant was successful and Charlie is now in good health.

“One of the reasons we were selected is because she is healthy enough to go,” Nick Buckley told News 8. “Obviously, there are a lot of kids at C.S. Mott right now that would love to be in our shoes, so we feel like we need to go and represent them and all the little victors, to make sure people are thinking about them.”

The Buckley family now advocates for donor awareness and works to raise money for research into Nephrotic syndrome.

Nick Buckley is usually at college football games with his laptop, reporting for the Battle Creek Enquirer. This time, he’ll just be a dad with his family, all of whom are big Michigan fans.

They are getting the red carpet treatment in Orlando, Florida. Citrus Bowl sponsor Vrbo is footing the bill for airfare, accommodations, tickets and a day at Disney.

Michigan plays Alabama in the Citrus Bowl at 1 p.m. on New Year’s Day. The game will air on ABC.