Friends hold fundraiser for girl, 10, who needs a kidney

Victoria Hansen

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Apparently they're popular -- four legged races with short, long bodied dogs. They're called wiener dog races, often used for fundraisers because they can attract quite a crowd.

The Barbot family certainly hopes so. They're in a race of their own.

Their 10-year-old daughter Mary Ashley was born with Congenital Nephrodic Syndrome. Her kidneys failed to work as they should since birth. She underwent a life-saving transplant at the age of two.

But now her body is rejecting the kidney and life is in jeopardy once again.

"She is in dire need of a kidney transplant," said her mother, Charlene Barbot. "Unfortunately, she is only going to be a match for one percent of the population. Due to this, her best chance for a transplant is a living donor."

ABC News 4 featured Mary Ashley and her family in a story last month. Shortly after it aired, more than 50 people called the MUSC Transplant Center volunteering to be tested to donate their kidney.

Barbot was ecstatic.

"You just may have saved my daughter's life," she told us.

Unfortunately, many willing donors were eliminated because of their blood type. Others could not be further tested because of health concerns.

"We are so incredibly grateful to the many people who called in to try to donate a kidney for Mary Ashley," said Charlene Barbot. "Our family, friends and so many others that we do not even know have tried, but unfortunately no one has been a match at this time."

But the Barbots aren't giving up -- it's not an option.

"Mary Ashley continues to do dialysis 10 hours a night," said Barbot. "She has some good days and some bad days."

The family hopes Saturday, Aug. 31 will be a good day, a really good day.

With the help of friends, the Barbots have organized a fundraiser, a wiener dog race at Joe Riley Park. The idea is to promote organ donor awareness and raise money to go toward family and living donor expenses.

"We are grateful to all of the community members and businesses that are supporting this event," said Barbot. "We hope to have a fun day of wiener dog racing and a small dog costume contest. There will be plenty of great vendors, so we hope many will come out even if they don't have a dog."

So, have a wiener dog? Perhaps you just want to see those silly dogs race. Or maybe you have a big heart for little girl who desperately needs a kidney transplant.

Come out to the Joe on Saturday, Aug. 31. You'll find all the information you need to register or just enjoy the day at and