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Community Rallies Behind Local Girl, Mom, Preparing for Kidney Transplant

Jenna Cline, 5, is the daughter of a North Kingstown police officer and the community is rallying in support.

Jenna Cline. Courtesy photo.
Jenna Cline. Courtesy photo.
The Cline family of North Kingstown knows what it's like to go through tough times.

But they aren't going through it alone, thanks to a groundswell of support that has brought together dozens—if not hundreds—of neighbors, business owners and members of the police department family together to say: we're here for you.

Five-year-old Jenna, the daughter of North Kingstown Police Officer Scott Cline, is about to undergo kidney transplant surgery at the end of June, her mother being the donor.

Jenna was born traumatically and with just one kidney, which wasn't functioning properly. She was diagnosed with stage 3 renal failure and recently, she's been upgraded to stage 4.

Her mother, Jamie, was found to be a match in March and the surgery next month will require extensive followup treatment and immunosuppression medications for the rest of her life.

For Scott Cline's fellow officers at the police department, the family's challenges left no doubt that they had to do something.

Office Brian Kanaczet was Cline's field training officer and they became friends. Initially, the idea was to host a fundraiser to offset some of the family's medical costs, "but more importantly, is the psychological support offered to this family in support of the fundraiser" Kanaczet said.

The folks at the Quonset "O" Club didn't hesitate for an instant to offer a venue space, and Kanaczet said after a post on Facebook and some social media action "it grew legs and really took off."

The event now is the place to be for some top notch prizes in a series of raffles. Jewelry from A Different Drummer, a Grill from Home Depot, a beverage dispenser filled with drinks from Kingston Liquors, a foursome of golf at Quidnessett Country Club, sports memorabilia, and more.

"We've gotten a tremendous response from a lot of local establishments," Kapaczet said. 

Kapaczet has also encountered many folks who aren't connected with the police department, or the Cline family in any way reach out to write a check or make a donation just because they've been through something similar before. 

And in all those stories Kapaczet said three things helped them all get through it: friends, faith and family.

"People are passionate, especially people who have diseases they've fort with in the past," Kapaczet said. "Perfect strangers come out of the woodwork to donate or help out."

So that's the theme of the June 6 fundraiser. Tickets are $20 and are available at the North Kingstown Police Department and JW Graham/Yes Gallery at 26 Brown St. in Wickford.

Click here for the fundraiser's Facebook page, which has more information and links.

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