GRIFFITH | March 14, was a special day for 10-year-old Blake Loudenber, who marked the one-year anniversary of his lifesaving kidney transplant.
To celebrate the milestone, Loudenber's fourth-grade class at Beiriger Elementary School released more than 30 green balloons at 1 p.m., the approximate time of his successful transplant a year ago.
"On behalf of Blake's family, we would like to thank you all for your support and love," said Kelly Ray, Blake's aunt. "It meant a lot to Blake when he heard that the entire class cheered one year ago today when it was announced that he had made it through his surgery. Thank you all for being on this journey with Blake and our family."
Family and friends also threw a surprise celebration for Loundenber at CiCi's Pizza in Schererville that evening.
Although not quite out of the woods yet, Loundenber is feeling well enough to give back. Recently, he launched a coloring book and crayon drive to benefit pediatric patients at the University of Chicago's Comers Children's Hospital, where he received his new kidney.