‘Modern Family’ starlet Sarah Hyland gets kidney from father

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Sarah Hyland, 21, plays the stereotypical teenage daughter on the Emmy-winning show Modern Family.  In the comedy she is known for bringing laughs to the audience chasing boys with her bubbly character and sly wisecracks as Haley Dunphy.  In real life Hyland has recently discovered a new found appreciation for family in face of illness.  Both of Hyland’s parents are actors and at the budding age of 5 she began her own career with a role as Howard Stern’s daughter in Private Parts, but even before that the actress had began a lifelong battle with kidney dysplasia.

The illness is often found during a fetal ultrasound before birth.  It is a condition that results in cysts forming inside the kidneys because tubes called ureters that are supposed to branch out to form a network of tubules to collect urine when the fetus is developing in the womb fail to branch out completely.  The urine that would normally flow through the tubules gets trapped in the kidneys and forms cysts.

Many children with kidney dysplasia can grow into healthy functioning adults.  If the disease only effects one kidney regular check-ups must be done in order to confirm that the healthy kidney is functioning properly.  In more extreme cases a kidney may need to be removed or, as in Hyland’s case, a transplant may be necessary.

In her interview with Seventeen magazine the actress revealed how she received her kidney from her father and how the experience made her value family even more.  Hyland told the magazine,

“You know that family is going to be there for you no matter what. My dad gave me a freakin’ kidney! But it’s also the families that you create outside of your family. And you really find out what kind of people you’re friends with. It was just amazing, and it really opened my eyes to see who’s there for me and who’s not.”

One of the people who she really felt was there for her was her boyfriend Matt Prokop.  The two co-starred together in the Disney Channel movie Geek Charming and since the transplant their relationship has only gotten stronger.  Hyland revealed in the interview that Prokop has helped her with many things regarding her health.  According to the star, “He helps me with my medication and takes me to doctor appointments and all the stuff that I need to do to take care of myself.” She feels truly blessed to have him in her life as she continues to gush,  “Any other 21-year-old guy would not be there, I guarantee it. I am one of the luckiest people in the world to have him be there for me.”


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