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Local Teen Brings Awareness To Kidney Illnesses Through Kick Boxing Event

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By Jericka Duncan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - At just 4’ 9” and less than 100 pounds Melika Roberts of Mt. Airy considers herself a fighter. She has kidney disease and has been battling the illness since birth.

“When I was born I was only born with one kidney,” said Roberts. “Then that one failed in 2004. Then I got a kidney transplant. That lasted for seven years, and then that failed.”

That was a year ago. She’s now on the waiting list for another kidney. In the meantime the 18-year-old has dialysis treatments three days a week to stay alive.

“Most of us know, those of us parents that are in this circumstance know our number one priority is our children,” said Melika’s mother, Debra Roberts.

Melika’s mom says her daughter’s entire life has been filled with trips to Children’s Hospital. Despite having over 50 surgeries Melika manages to smile and give back. She’s teamed up with her Aunt Gail to start Kidney Kicks.

It’s a kick boxing fundraiser event. The money goes to the renal department at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The first year, in 2011, Kidney Kicks raised about $1,000.

“We’re raising awareness with respect to kidney illnesses and we’re having a good time,” said Gail Ramsey.

“It just gives me another chance to help kids with kidney disease,” said Roberts.

Kidney Kicks 2012 will be held on Saturday August 18th from 12-2pm at the Aquatic and Fitness Center located at 601 Righters Ferry Way in Bala Cynwyd. Registration is $15 a person.