New Castle News


March 11, 2013

Zest of Zoey: Union seventh-grader displays bravery in the face of a kidney transplant



Tracy is able to make the frequent trips to Children’s because she works for her brother, Dave Llewellyn, at Pizza Joe’s in New Wilmington. Gary works at Kaleel Brothers.

Tracy’s mother, Louise Llewellyn, watches Zoey while her parents are at work.

When Zoey gets her transplant, her current kidneys will not be removed, but the new kidney will take over. She will need to take medication twice a day for the rest of her life.

Although the Smiths have medical insurance, the cost of traveling to appointments in Pittsburgh, often several days a week, along with medication, have placed a financial strain on the family. Yet the Smiths are willing to do whatever it takes to give their daughter a healthy future. A benefit spaghetti dinner to help with expenses will be held April 28.

“She’s been through so much,” Tracy said. “But she’s a pretty happy kid. Nothing much gets her down.

“On even the worst days, she’s a joy to be around.”

For Zoey, she is looking to the transplant as the first day of the rest of her life.

“I just want to get it over with,” she said. “I’m not scared, I’ve had every test there is and some of them were pretty bad, so I think this will be OK. I just want to be able to enjoy stuff again.”


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