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Rochester police help celebrate toddler’s birthday as he awaits a kidney transplant

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Rochtester Police Officer giving a stuffed animal to the birthday boy

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- On Sunday, Rochester police, Yammy Bear, and Elsa from Frozen came out to celebrate a three-year-old's birthday.

Atreyu Sanford is the birthday boy, who's celebrated his birthday early. His actual birthday is Jun. 19 but he'll be in dialysis.

His family and friends celebrated his birthday but also his strength as he battles a medical condition.

"He's got End-stage Renal Disease so basically. It's like stage five kidney failure," said Annie Maynard, Atreyu's mother.

She said he has one kidney that's polycystic and functions at less than 15 percent. It's an issue he was born with that's made him have to do dialysis since he was a month old.

Atreyu and his mother Annie

"His third year is probably going to be the biggest one of his life. Because he is on the transplant list and hopefully he will get a transplant before the end of the year. So, if everything goes according to plan. Then he'll have a new kidney. And we'll be able to finally go about having a normal kid's life. More so than now, where he spends three days a week in the clinic," Maynard said.

His birthday party guests helped further motivate him to keep pushing forward.

"We're all pulling for you. You know you have all of our prayers and support, and seeing you today you're a fighter. You got what it takes man," said officer Garrison Lenz, Rochester Police Department.

"Really it's just celebrating him, in general. The fact that he's made it this far. The fact that he's just as incredible as he is really," Maynard said. "He is such a warrior and a champion. And like, he's fought this hard, this long. And like, just the amount of stuff he's gone through and can still wake up and put a smile on his face and just be happy all day. It blows me away."

Interested kidney donors can click here for the living donor information.

The family said Arteyu would need a donor who is 32 years old or younger. With either an A or O blood type.

She also said if someone isn't a match for her son, they should still consider being a donor to another patient who needs it.

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KaMaria Braye

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