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Lili is on FOX 2 Detroit in a couple PSAs

U of M Wins 2nd place: McKesson Award
Today (7/24/08) is the day when the big award for our hospital is being announced, and the video featuring several of our doctors, and you and Lili, is being made available to TV stations nationwide. Plus, the video is being shown to hundreds of top hospital executives from around the country at the American Hospital Association's leadership meeting in San Diego today.
You can watch a little bit of it online - we've taken two 'sound bites' of you and some footage of Lili, and put it together with a couple of sound bites from two doctors to create an online video. It's at - just click the Play arrow on the picture. You both look great and I can tell that what you were saying came from the heart!


Roll Call is one of DC's premier newspapers that provides its readers
with legislative and political news from the Hill.  For every issue 11,500
copies of Roll Call are delivered to Congress and 400 copies are
delivered to the White House free of charge.

http://picasaweb. google. com/nachrinach/2008NACHFamilyAdvocacyDay
Pictures of NACH families – including Lili.

http://www. childrenshospitals. net/AM/Template. cfm?Section=Homepage&Template=/customSource/homepage/homepage. cfm
National Association of Children's Hospitals

*Lili was in the Summer 2006 extra addition of the Michigan Cares Magazine!

*Lili was on a billboard on I-94 in January 2006 - March 2006. 

*Lili was in The Saginaw News - November 17, 2003 and June 24, 2004.  I'm going to try and scan these articles, cuz I can't find them online anymore.

*Lili was on TV 6, WLNS, before transplant (May 28, 2004) and again after her transplant.

Below is the photo from the November article in The Saginaw News.

The Lansing State Journal articles are below...

Published June 03, 2004

A mother's gift: Infant will get kidney from mom

BECKY SHINK/Lansing State Journal

A gift: Lili Whitaker, 14 months, and her mother, Julie Newland, will undergo surgery Monday. "I just know she's going to feel better," Newland said about donating a kidney to Lili. "And that makes me feel better."

Things to do


  • Lili's Pad:

    Lili's story

    Important dates in the life of Lili Whitaker:

  • February 2003: Julie Newland is told her unborn baby has no kidneys and will not survive after birth.

  • April 6, 2003: Lili Kathryn Linda Whitaker is born, but her one kidney is underdeveloped.

  • April 19, 2003: Lili is admitted to a U-M hospital.

  • June 9, 2003: Lili is released from the hospital and placed on dialysis.

  • July 18, 2003: Lili is taken off dialysis and a feeding tube is attached to her stomach.

  • Jan. 2, 2004: Lili learns to crawl.

  • May 26, 2004: Lili takes her first steps.

  • June 7, 2004: Lili is scheduled to receive a kidney transplant from her mother.

  • Becky Shink/Lansing State Journal

    Staying busy: Julie Newland reads to her 14-month-old daughter Lili Whitaker on Wednesday. The DeWitt woman will donate a kidney to her daughter on Monday. Lili was born with only one kidney, which was underdeveloped.

    By Hugh Leach
    Lansing State Journal

    DeWITT - Fourteen months ago, Julie Newland was planning a funeral for her unborn child.

    Tests showed the baby had no kidneys and that her lungs were undeveloped.

    Doctors said there was no chance the baby would survive after birth.

    "I spent three months planning and coming to peace with her leaving," Newland said.

    "I was ready to say goodbye."

    But Lili Kathryn Linda Whitaker had other ideas.

    The baby was born April 6, 2003, at Sparrow Hospital with a healthy set of lungs but only one kidney, which is underdeveloped.

    And Newland isn't about to let her go. On Monday, she will donate one of her own kidneys to make sure Lili has a chance at a normal life.

    "I just want her to live to her full potential and be happy," Newland, 32, said. "I think she's here to do big things, and she needs to be strong and independent."

    Lili surprised everybody when she was born screaming.

    "Her lungs sounded fine. We were expecting some sort of deformation, but she was absolutely beautiful," Newland said.

    Still, with a kidney that was only about 15 percent normal, survival still didn't seem possible.

    "The doctors told me we could take her home to pass away or take her to University of Michigan Hospitals in Ann Arbor to see if there was anything they could do," Newland said.

    "Considering I had just spent the last four months planning for my daughter's death, I could not comprehend what they were saying. I also didn't want a life of hospitals and dialysis for my daughter."

    Lili's way

    They took her home and waited for her to die. But a week later Lili was still alive and Newland and the baby's father, Bruce Whitaker, a third-year medical student at Michigan State University, decided to see what the U-M hospital in Ann Arbor could offer.

    "We took her in, and they overloaded her with fluids and she had seizures," Newland said. "I didn't want that life for her, and we took her back home."

    After a few more days, Newland and Whitaker called U-M again and spoke with a doctor who gave them hope. Whitaker wanted to take her back for treatment and Newland, who was still not convinced the baby could survive, finally agreed.

    New hope

    Lili underwent several surgeries and was placed on dialysis. Later her formula was changed and a feeding tube was inserted that made dialysis unnecessary.

    After the kidney transplant, even the feeding tube won't be needed, Newland said.

    Lili will likely need another kidney transplant when she reaches her 20s, Newland said.

    "Lili's dad is also a match, and he will step up then," she said.

    "I don't think he was as connected at first since he wasn't carrying her," Newland said. "Once she was born and he saw her, his attitude changed and he wants to do everything he can to keep her with us. He's really good to her."

    Newland and the baby lived with Whitaker, who is doing work toward his degree at a hospital in Mount Clemens, in the Detroit area for a time before moving into her father's home in DeWitt a few months ago.

    She said she feels honored at the opportunity to donate a kidney to her daughter.

    How it works

    The entire kidney will be transplanted. It weighs a little over a pound, but Newland said it will be like placing a 15-pound weight inside an adult.

    "Part of the procedure for determining a match for a kidney transplant is the size of the kidney," said Krista Hopson, a spokeswoman for University of Michigan Health Systems, where the surgeries will take place.

    "It isn't like a liver where you can just transplant a piece of it."

    Hopson said the hospital has performed several similar surgeries between parent and young child, and they are usually successful. Newland's surgery will take place at U-M's main hospital and Lili's at U-M's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. Newland said the cost will be paid by the government.

    "When I realize that both my daughter and granddaughter will be in surgery Monday, it's very scary but also exciting," said Newland's mother, Kathy Berger of Hemlock, near Saginaw.

    "I just have to focus on the outcome and try not to obsess.

    "Julie has been terrific with Lili. She has taken such great care of her even though it has demanded so much from her physically, emotionally and financially."

    The need to take care of Lili has kept Julie from finding a job and postponed plans to work on a master's degree in children's drama at Eastern Michigan University.

    Newland's best friend, Kate Rye, a third-year student at MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine, set up a Web site that Newland maintains to detail Lili's progress.

    "She had some really cute pictures of Lili we wanted to put on the Internet," Rye said. "Once we had the site set up, Julie ran with it."

    As a result people from around the world are keeping track of Lili's story. A woman from London even called Newland to see how she was doing.

    "I'm proud of how brave and strong Julie has been through all of this," said Rye, who has known Newland since both were in the second grade.

    Contact Hugh Leach at 377-1119 or

    Published June 09, 2004
    Transplant goes well for mom, baby
    Woman donates kidney so daughter's health will improve

    BECKY SHINK/Lansing State Journal

    Mending: Julie Newland and her daughter Lili Whitaker play last week. Newland says she and Lili are "doing better than I expected" after surgery Monday when Newland donated a kidney to Lili.


    On the Web

  • Lili's Pad homepage:
  • By Hugh Leach
    Lansing State Journal

    Julie Newland and her "miracle baby" are both doing well after one of Newland's kidneys was transplanted into her 14-month-old daughter.

    "Both of us are doing better than I expected at this point," Newland, who lives in DeWitt, said by phone Tuesday from her room at University of Michigan Hospital. "Monday was pretty rough for me, but things are a lot better now."

    Lili Kathryn Linda Whitaker was born at Lansing's Sparrow Hospital in April 2003 with only one kidney, which was underdeveloped. Doctors gave her no chance of survival, but Lili surprised everybody.

    Other than the kidney problem, Lili was like any other child and has begun to speak and walk. Newland said she decided to donate a kidney to her daughter to help her lead as normal a life as possible.

    Newland's kidney was removed Monday morning at U-M's main hospital, and the transplant took place that afternoon at U-M's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital, which is attached.

    Newland's mother, Kathy Berger of Hemlock, accompanied the kidney between the two hospitals.

    "The kidney is working well, and they've taken Lili off a ventilator," Newland said. "I went down to see her ... and she looks good. It's about a 20-minute walk, but I used a wheelchair."

    Newland expects to be discharged today and will stay at the nearby Ronald McDonald House until Lili is released, which is expected in 10 to 14 days.

    The hospital did not release information about the condition of Newland or Lili, but spokeswoman Krista Hopson said the hospital has performed several similar transplants between a parent and a young child, and they usually are successful.

    Newland's best friend, Kate Rye, a medical student at Michigan State University, said she planned to visit Newland on Tuesday night.

    "When I talked with her Monday, she seemed in really good spirits and everything seemed to be going well," she said.

    Contact Hugh Leach at 377-1119 or