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A wish is granted with store shopping spree
Gainesville teen marks a year with new kidney, plans for college
Jacob Hampton, left, gets some advice about video games Saturday from Best Buy technical expert Dustin Broome. Hampton had a shopping spree at the Best Buy on Dawsonville Highway through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. - photo by Tom Reed

A Gainesville teen celebrated the one-year anniversary of his kidney transplant Saturday with his family and volunteers from the Make-A-Wish Foundation by going on a shopping spree.

Jacob Hampton pulled up to the Gainesville Best Buy in a limo, armed with a list of video games and consoles he desired.

Hampton, 17, received the transplant as treatment for end stage renal disease, a genetic condition that limits or blocks the kidneys' ability to function.

"You're born with it, but it doesn't really kick in until you hit puberty," Hampton said.

Thanks to his new kidney, Hampton no longer requires dialysis treatments.

"I had to go through nine biopsies. I've had a little rejecting (in the kidney), but it works," Hampton said.

A donated kidney can last from 10 to 15 years before needing to be replaced.

Foundation volunteers Terri Grady and Amanda Butts accompanied Hampton through the store, with Grady collecting his items in the cart.

"He could have a wished for anything he wanted, and he wanted some electronics," Grady said. "Make-A-Wish gives a certain amount of money to whichever age group is having a wish granted. They get to do whatever they want with it."

Hampton's first-choice item was a MacBook Pro, followed by an iPad2.

"It's good for going to college," Hampton said.

Though college is still another year away, Hampton hopes to use his love and talent for mathematics to study accounting. He hopes to use his degree to help his family.

Hampton's mother, Janine Hampton, contacted Make-A-Wish when she found out her son would have to go through dialysis.

"I wanted him to have something good through all of this. I recommended him to the foundation," Janine Hampton said.

In addition to granting her son's wish, the volunteers from Make-A-Wish have visited the family.

United Healthcare topped off the afternoon by hosting a lunch for the Hampton family. CEO Rick Elliott, along with the three Make-A-Wish volunteers, were present to congratulate Jacob Hampton on his year of improving health.

The Georgia and Alabama Chapter of Make-A-Wish grants up to 700 wishes a year, with the organization as a whole granting hundreds of wishes annually to children ages 2½ to 18 who suffer from life-threatening medical conditions.

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