Welcome home Molly and Ben!

WESTPORT - For the last year and a half, Molly Rascoe, a senior at Westport Central School, has traveled to Burlington three times a week for dialysis. In July 2009, Molly was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease

that impaired her kidney function, and she needed the regular blood treatments in order to survive. Now, she has every reason to hope that those long hours hooked up to the dialysis machine are a thing of the past. On Dec. 1, Molly underwent a successful kidney transplant at Burlington's Fletcher Allen hospital.

Molly's new kidney began functioning almost immediately, and her recovery has gone smoothly. She came home Dec. 5, two days earlier than expected.

She and her family are overjoyed at the successful outcome, though Molly's doctors caution that there is still a chance that her body might reject the kidney.

"The next two to three weeks will be critical," Brad Rascoe, Molly's father, said shortly after Molly returned home. "After that, the chances of rejection go down. We're hoping for the best, but we have to be very careful for a few weeks."

To lessen the chance of rejection, he explained, Molly is being given medication to suppress her immune system. "She can go to a movie, but if someone's coughing near her she'll have to leave. She's looking forward to seeing her friends again, but she won't be able to go back to school for at least a month or so."

Molly, whose positive attitude throughout her illness has impressed everyone who knows her, has her eyes on the slightly longer term. Westport girls shine at basketball, and Molly, a dedicated athlete, is no exception.

"I'm going to be on the team," she said, smiling. "I'll probably sit on the bench, but my goal is to play in a game before the end of the season."

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