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Lytle neighbors chow down on burgers in support of young boy battling rare genetic disease

A Saturday plate sale was held to benefit a 4-year-old battling a rare genetic kidney disease.

LYTLE, Texas — Neighbors in a small community southwest of San Antonio came out in force Saturday to lift up one of their own: a young boy in need of a live-saving surgery.

Between the bikers, the hot rods and, of course, the burgers, it was quite the showing in Lytle on Saturday.

“We’ve got burgers, cheeseburgers. We’ve got a friend of ours who’s a pastry chef, she’s out here making cupcakes and everything.”

“Friends from work, from Facebook, just family all coming, people that don’t even know us,” said Josiah’s grandmother, Yolanda Gomez, describing all the people she had interacted with Saturday.

Visitors paid $8 for a burger, chips and drink, but sometimes contributed more in a show of support for Josiah Aguiñaga, who was born with Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease, or ARPKD.

“Josiah’s going to need a kidney and a liver transplant here soon,” said Michael Aguiñaga, the boy's father. “It’s enlarged kidney, covered in cysts, enlarged spleen and liver."

Michael said the 4-year-old’s kidney is 15 centimeters, 50% larger than a healthy adult kidney.

“He can go running and you’ll see him stop a little bit, you know, because his kidneys are kind of pressing against his lungs," he said. "So that kind of effects his endurance a little bit as well.”

The money from the burgers is going toward the family’s living expenses while they are away in Houston trying to arrange for the transplants Josiah needs.

“During that process, I’m going to be out of work,” Michael said. “So, this is just to help with the expenses while I’m out."

Gomez found herself overwhelmed by the support her family is receiving.

“It means a lot to us,” she said. “I don’t have the words to explain how much it means to us. Thank you.”

Josiah’s family is accepting donations to help with expenses during the transplant process on gofundme. His parents are documenting his journey on Facebook.