JASPER CO., SC (WTOC) - For 8-year-old Saniyah Lovett, her smile says it all. A small glimpse into the new hope she feels after spending the last five and half years feeling trapped inside her own body.
"I felt like I was in jail," Saniyah said. "I was in real bad pain. I was hurting. All the medicine they was giving me, my stomach started to hurt."
Saniyah was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome, is a rare illness that causes kidney filters to release protein into your urine, when she was 8 years old. She has FSGS, according her doctors, the worst kind of nephrotic syndrome.
"I used to cry sometimes, and people used to ask me what was wrong. It used to make me man," she said. "I couldn't do what other kids could do. I couldn't play, because my mom didn't want nobody to snatch the tube or nothing. I had to always stay in the house and go to dialysis"
With her new kidney, that has all changed. Saniyah is jumping, running, and playing outside.
Most of all, she's doing the one thing she's always wanted to do.
"I get to eat pizza," she said.
A few months ago, Saniyah thought this would never happen. She was supposed to get a kidney twice before, but the donor backed out the first time, and the second time her donor got pregnant.
After our story aired in June, hundreds of WTOC viewers posted encouraging words to the Lovett family on our Facebook page. Many even went out and got tested, and someone even bought her a new trampoline.
"They always say it takes village to raise a child, and it does," said Lashon Lovett, Saniyah's mother. "I never thought that so many people were that excited and happy to help my child."
Saniyah has some advice for others diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome.
"Never give up," she said. "Just keep doing what you doing. Keep trying - everything gets better."