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'It's everybody's story'

Kidney transplant benefit draws 600+

Emma Aldenberg gives Robin Lataille her winnings from the third raffle of the evening as another winner also did. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
January 18, 2010
STURBRIDGE — For Robin Lataille, the holiday season just past was a pretty good one. On Jan. 3, after many years of illness and dialysis, she finally received a new kidney.

Of course, with that surgery and related medical care came five-figure (or more) medical bills, a lifelong routine of anti-rejection medication, regular bloodwork and several months out of work on top of what she's already missed.

That's why around 600 people filled the Publick House Monday to show their support at a benefit dinner.

"It was incredible how well she came through it," said Robin's brother, Bill Lataille, of the transplant surgery. "Right now, the key thing is keeping her healthy — no hugs, no contact. The doctor said it'd be alright [to attend tonight] if she stayed in the corner and kept to herself."

That didn't stop a lot of people from coming to talk to her, although almost all heeded the hand-written, half-joking, "Please do not touch The Robin" sign on her table. Many of them were coworkers, parents of children in the YMCA preschool she worked at until recently, fellow members of St. Mary's Church, members of her sprawling extended family, or families of children she'd taught to swim over the years.

See Wednesday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

Stonebridge Press
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