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The 21-year-old actress opens up about her long battle with kidney dysplasia in the June/July issue of Seventeen, revealing that her dad — Edward James Hyland — donated a kidney for the early April transplant operation.
“You know that family is going to be there for you no matter what,” Hyland tells the magazine. “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.”
Kidney dysplasia is a condition that occurs in babies while they’re still growing in the womb; it typically affects one kidney, rendering it unable to function. Symptoms might include high blood pressure and an increased risk of kdiney cancer.
Hyland said she received a lot of support from people she didn’t expect.
“There are people who came out of the woodwork, not because it was ‘oh hey, congratulations on your show winning an Emmy.’ No, it was ‘hey, I’m here for you,'” she said.
Her strongest supporters include her longtime, live-in boyfriend, Matt Prokop.
“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 said. ” 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.”
Hyland has much more to celebrate: last week, ABC renewed Modern Family for a fourth season. The show continues to excel on Wednesdays, with the network most recently using it to kickstart the buzzy freshman comedy Don’t Trust the B—- in Apt. 23.
The ensemble series, which also stars Emmy winners Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet and Sofia Vergara, ranks as the network’s No. 1 scripted comedy series, up nearly 20 percent for its best season ever.
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