Mother Gives Daughter Gift Of Life For Christmas

Just days before Christmas, a local mother is preparing to give her daughter a gift that is priceless.

Kai Jackson explains that for the second time, she’s giving her the gift of life.

Jamie Conway and her mother Valerie Eigner are getting ready for a special day. On Thursday, Valerie is giving Jamie one of her kidneys.

“My mom was a match for me, so I’m getting one of her kidneys,” said Jamie.

Jamie is getting it in the nick of time. She has lupus, an auto-immune disease that attacks the body. In her case, it’s worn down her joints and kidneys.

Since February, Jamie’s been on a grueling schedule of working 40 hours a week and going to dialysis nine hours a week.

“I’ve seen a lot of what she’s going through, and at times wish I could change places with her and take that burden from her,” Eigner said. “I’ve lived my life at this point very well, and she has a lot more living to do.”

After watching her daughter struggle, Eigner volunteered to give her a kidney. Testing determined she was a match.

“She’s always very giving,” Jamie said.

Jamie is 30 and has been married to husband Brian Conway for six years. They conveniently live across the street from her parents.

The family’s Christmas wish is simply to have Jamie healthy and Valerie recover.

Doctors say there’s a risk for both recipient and the donor.

“We never ever want to think of hurting one person trying to help someone else out,” said Dr. Matthew Cooper, transplant surgeon. “We have to be certain that the work up for the donor is as thorough as you can imagine.”

“I know the risks of going into surgery, what can happen, and I’ m willing to accept that,” Eigner said.

The woman who gives you life “gives you life again,” Jamie said.

The surgery is expected to take several hours to complete. These days, doctors will make a small incision in both Jamie and her mother Valerie. Although Jamie will have to take anti-rejection medication, doctors told her they do not expect her lupus to reject the new kidney.

Valerie is expected to be home by Christmas day. Jamie is expected home next week.

  • Jen

    That is truely an amazing mother! Good luck to them both!



      Good, here is a story about Christmas spirit, instead of the evil, Madison Avenue, Santa Claus, and his ridiculous buying campaign which serves Mammon.

      Christmas is about Jesus’ sacrifice for our sinful behavior, loving Mammon instead of truth.


      Stand for truth. God might be watching.

      • Christine

        I gave my precious daughter my kidney 6 years ago this April. She was 2 years old at the time. I nearly died due to doctor error, but I would do it again a hundred times over. I got to see her precious face when she ran downstairs to see her Christmas gifts this morning. I know she and I are both alive because of prayer, and I rejoice this day in the celebration of Christ’s birth. Good luck to both mom and daughter. It is a bond only those who have been fortunate enough to have understand.

      • Ron

        So if an Atheist mother donated her kidney to her daughter she would’ve died, had she not prayed?

        You believe that? Following your logic you must. Yet, medical records across the U.S. show how absurd this idea is.

        You need to sit back and truly examine CRITICALLY what it is you believe. Logic would be a good start.

      • christine



        As you did not know the specifics of our case, for example the fact that my daughter had a 5% chance of living due to her disease, and that the doctors actually told my family I would die, I find it so sad that you must throw your “intellect” around. Certainly I believe in the power of doctors and medicine, otherwise we would have not sought medical care. LOGICALLY I also know that those doctors work through the knowledge and power that God gives them. I am thankful for them both, and would be thankful if you could try not to be angered over someone expressing their spiritual beliefs. I believe most certainly that an Atheist mother could have and, I am sure, has donated a kidney to her child with success. Sorry to have put such a damper on your Christmas by mentioning Christ.

        December 26, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Reply | Report comment

      • Christine


        I gave my precious daughter my kidney 6 years ago this April. She was 2 years old at the time. I nearly died due to doctor error, but I would do it again a hundred times over. I got to see her precious face when she ran downstairs to see her Christmas gifts this morning. I know she and I are both alive because of prayer, and I rejoice this day in the celebration of Christ’s birth. Good luck to both mom and daughter. It is a bond only those who have been fortunate enough to have understand.

        December 25, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Reply | Report comment

  • Neil Rubin

    Jamie is a wonderful colleague and friend. We can’t wait to see her smiling and HEALTHY face back with us again. This is what we Jews call a great mitzvah.

  • Scott Foster

    My wonderful son gave me one of his kidneys 3 years ago. Every day since then has been a blessing. Merry Christmas to all.

  • brian

    It seems like this is shocking to everyone that a mother would give a kidney to her daughter. Why is this? Wouldn’t everyone do this for their kid?

    • Paul

      Unfortunately, no. My mother would never give me a kidney.

      • Monica Eames

        Paul’s right … unfortunately. I know I’d be delighted to give my kids my own heart if they needed it whereas my mother would be delighted to have someone rip mine right out of my chest if it meant a good romp in the hay.

    • Robin

      When our 2 year old son needed a kidney, there wasn’t even a blink between my husband or I. Of course one of us would do this! I cannot fathom what type of a person wouldn’t do this for one of their children. We have met many, many families over the years who gave up one of their kidney’s. To be honest, I don’t know why this is a news story. It’s very common these days.

    • Texsis

      For sure I would….and have volunteered should it get to that point. I’d do anything for her.

  • Barbara Freundlich

    Wishing your entire family the very best. It is great hearing good things on the news for a change. Enough of hearing about crime in our state. Put more good stories like this one on the news. Good luck to your entire family.

  • PabloKoh

    My aunt gave me a kidney 6 years ago. I thank God for my aunt and my skilled doctors. We need more living donors. Here is a quick vid that explains it.

  • jill e

    I donated a kidney to my husband just before Christmas in 1999. Three months later, I was pregnant at age 44! Our daughter was born almost a year to the day of the transplant.

  • Erin Clare

    My thoughts and prayers are with Jamie, her mother and her entire family today. Waiting to hear goods news of their surgery. All my love, Erin.

  • Flannigan

    Would someone please give Obama a brain?

    • Kurt

      You’re an idiot.

    • me again

      Good one.

    • AnneK

      No, because then, it might be even more dangerous.

    • red

      Maybe Sara Palin could give him hers. She obviously doesn’t use it!! Obama is great!

      • slick

        Obama is a destructive statist worm. You’re among the few who still don’t get it. Obama akbar!

  • Hank Warren

    Finally a pleasant Christmas story, instead of the normal junk about Lindsay Lohan, Jersey Shore, all distractions. As the Mainstream Media creates illusions, the US gov’t (and their corp. friends),start more illegal wars, ban books like “America Deceived II” and bail out banks.
    Last link (before Google Books bans it also]:

  • Ed Powers

    This is a heart wrenching story. Thanks for sharing.
    Finally a soomething good. reported upon.

  • Teresa A. Rump

    I’d give my daughter both my kidneys if she needed them. God bless this family and I hope for a good outcome.

  • Aunt Bev

    I’m not surprised that my sister, Val, volunteered to donate her kidney to her daughter, Jamie. She’s been volunteering to help others her whole life. I’m more surprised that Jamie needed a kidney, because her older sister, Vicki, had a serious kidney disease to deal with when she was only 5 years old. Thanks to her doctor’s help, she’s okay. I’m still waiting to hear how the surgery went, but I feel in my heart that God will answer our prayers and Jamie’s Christmas wish will come true.

    • Rondell Hubbard

      Bless you Bev! Ya!!!


  • Moishe Kahan

    Hero mother ,Greedy Dr,

    Why don’t they give her immunocal, clinically proven to help any autoimmune disease

  • Art Clark III

    I did this for my son May 21, 2010. He is 34 and I am 60! We did this at California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco, CA.

    • Karen Cannell

      wow! it was 10 years ago when my son received a kidney from his brother in CA .. he had his transplant at Stanford tho. We had an appt set up with CPMI but because of a high temp of 105 while on Dialysis, we had to cancel. Stanford called us the next day, saying they had a cancelation. I have a question for you with this recent transplant. If you don’t mind my asking, is he on steroids or which anti rejection meds? I’m always curious as to the changes for the better that kidney transplant patients are blessed with.thanks!

  • Jeff

    I’ll be giving my wife a kidney this year. I think this is much more common then people think. What is truly amazing is that my friend got a kidney from his neighbor.

  • sam

    My aunt gave me a kidney for my 26th birthday last year. Its the greatest gift you can receive, and if I were able to donate, I would.

    This is a great story–i hope more people become registered donors so we have more great stories. Merry Christmas!

  • Stephanie

    I would give my daughter my heart if she needed it.

  • Michael Riley

    Thanks for sharing this story. There are so many people behind the scenes that had a part in this miracle. Take for instance the Immunogenetics lab at UMMC. This group of individuals are some of the best in the world. They work tirelessly to assist the making critical decision for transplants. This story is an encouragement to the entire team. Great work to all. To this mother, daughter and family; Merry Christmas from all of us.

  • Ron

    I don’t see why this is news. Family members give each other kidneys all the time, my mother gave her brother one with no thought of anything otherwise. Slow news days? Sure, it’s a nice story, but it’s not even close to unique or newsworthy.

    How many people died overseas today because of war today, unable to make it Christmas alive this year? Cover something that is actual news… News stories aren’t supposed to be like Oprah Winfrey segments.

    Contrarian Freedom Fighter

    • Melanie Conway

      I am Melanie Conway I am Jamie’s sister in law. I have been told a wise saying many times in my 26years of life I know that may not be many years to you but I would like to share it with you… If you have nothing nice to say, then dont say anything at all! Maybe you should take that saying into consideration when you voice your opinion next time. I know what the war has done to our country and as much as I dont agree with it, I know what it is like to loose a friend there.It is nice to hear about a life that will continue to go on because of a mother with a big heart, then somone dying. I am sorry that you do not know Ms Val and Jamie, they are wonderful, beautiful women. And I could only hope that you have someone that you could love as much as we do them. Jamie has brought our family so much happiness. If you are unhappy with what airs on the news write the producers…. Also who gave you any right to judge who is a hero??

      • Ron

        I’d reply to you, but CBS censors opinion apparently.

      • Karen Cannell

        Keeping the mouth closed at times, is a LOST ART …. maybe some need to watch BAMBI again to hear the phrase ” If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all ” !!!

        I’ve posted on here a couple of times now about my middle son giving one of his kidneys to his older brother. It’s an act of ” Unconditional Love” which is not as common as people might THINK. Most who do donate or do something of this magnitude don’t talk about it, it’s something in their nature to GIVE quietly.
        God Bless these 2 women

        Judge Not that Ye be NOT Judged … another lost art of communication

    • Michelle Stein

      I am glad its news because news sure tells the world what the monster moms are doing to their kids hense “casey A” why not tell the world what the decent moms are doing for their kids.

  • Fubar

    May Gods blessings be with you both.

  • Ron

    In closing, this doesn’t make a person a hero. It makes them a human acting in the way we should all act, and a mom doing what most Mom’s would.

    Let’s please stop stretching the meaning of hero.

    Happy HOLIDAYS (ZOMG!) all. Namsaste!

    Contrarian Freedom Fighter

    • Kurt

      You don’t need to sign your posts, Ron.

      • Ron

        Thanks Kurt.

        Contrarian Freedom Fighter

  • Been Blessed

    And a Merry Christmas to you too, Ron. This is a wonderful story. Blessings to all who sacrifice so another can live.

  • Lena

    It has only been three weeks since I donated my kidney to a longtime friend. I never once had second thoughts before OR after our surgeries. It wasn’t the easiest surgery but it was the most productive! I’m not a hero. I just helped one person have a life again and that has made all the difference. I encourage everyone to consider giving this gift.

    • Ron

      You’re not a hero, but your post has proven your character to be better than most,. I applaud you.

    • Christine


      You sacrificed what could have been your life for a friend. I don’t care what anyone says, as I donated my kidney to my daughter I know, this surgery does affect the donor. Having one kidney also affects the donor. It is a risk, and in my opinion, anyone who risks for another human being is a hero.

  • Carol

    I gave my sister a kidney a year ago and I agree, it is not a hard decision to make. Knowing what I know now, I would encourage anyone willing to help others to do the same, whehter they are related to them or not.

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