Xyla Blackshear

Eight-year-old Xyla Blackshear, who is currently on the waiting list for a small intestine transplant, hugs a stuffed animal.

Transplant-listed youngster revels in cooking without being able to eat her creations

Xyla Blackshear has blossomed from mommy’s little helper in the kitchen to an 8-year-old with a passion for cooking – even though she can’t take any food by mouth.

A regular at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Xyla is on the waiting list for a small intestine transplant, but she’s always on the go. Her mom, Chanteera, says Xyla is a perfect sous chef who loves to be at her side pouring and mixing ingredients. She called Xyla the best kitchen helper who may be the first chef who can’t taste her food.

As Xyla continues to wait for a donor hero, she looks forward to being able to go swimming after her transplant.

Xyla is one of nearly 2,000 children on a transplant waiting list. National Pediatric Transplant Week from April 23-29 highlights the need to shorten the wait these children and their families face.

Learn more about the need for organ donors and how you can help with just a few minutes of your time.