Trip to Symphony turns into big surprise for girl battling kidne - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Trip to Symphony turns into big surprise for girl battling kidney disease

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Anna Copley smiles holding her new Saxophone Anna Copley smiles holding her new Saxophone
SPOKANE, Wash. - Make-A-Wish, the Spokane Symphony, and Conn-Selmer instruments teamed up to grant the wish of a local 14-year-old girl battling kidney disease.

Anna Copley is a ninth grader at Lewis and Clark High School. She started playing saxophone as a fifth grader and continues to play despite battling a kidney disease she has had since she was a baby. Along the way she has had a lot of support from her family and Saturday night she had her Make-A-Wish granted at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox. 

As Copley sat in the audience, waiting for the symphony concert to begin, she had no idea what was about to happen. 

“I thought Make-A-Wish had bought us all tickets to the symphony,” Copley said. 

Before the concert, the speaker asked Copley to join her on stage, but even as she walked the stairs to address the audience, she was not expecting what came next.  

“Tonight is the night that your wish is going to be granted,” said the speaker on stage. 

Copley's wish was a baritone saxophone.    

“The OK had to go clear to France and back for this baritone sax, so it took about ten months for it to come through,” said Leslie Woodfill from Make-A-Wish. 

However, it was worth the wait because getting to this point has not been easy. 

“My entire body started kind of shutting down and they thought I was going die,” Copley said. 

Each year, Copley's kidneys progressively got worse, until finally, she was put on dialysis last year. 

“I have dialysis on Mondays and Fridays, and I have to take about 15 pills a day,” Copley explained. “Before dialysis it was like 20 or 21 pills.” 

Copley's only option now is a kidney transplant that will come from her older brother Andrew. 

“Andrew is giving me the kidney,” Copley said. “When I first was diagnosed with kidney disease, he told me right away he was going to give me a kidney when I needed it.”  

Giving up his kidney is a decision Andrew says was easy to make. 

“I love Anna and I'm happy to give her a kidney, so that she can live a better life, so that she feels better and she's not sick,” Andrew Copley said.  

Both Andrew and Anna are scheduled for surgery in Seattle in December. 

“It's really cool, it's easier knowing it's my brother and he'll be there too,” Copley said.  

Just as her brother will be there while she recovers, her brand new saxophone will be at the hospital as well, providing a needed distraction and hope that she will be able to play it for years to come.
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