BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) — Mark Hamilton, a contractor in the Bennington area, has been working on opening another business in the community: East Road Market and Deli. But during this time, Hamilton’s 18-year-old daughter Kaitlyn was diagnosed with end stage renal failure, meaning she needed a new kidney.

Kaitlyn’s in her first year of college at East Carolina University in North Carolina, said Hamilton. She was diagnosed during the college’s parents weekend.

“She just wanted to get out of Bennington her whole life,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton said his daughter had to go through dialysis three days a week for four hours, while still completing her classwork. “She’s good but mentally it’s taking a toll,” said Hamilton.

Eight family members and close friends were tested to see if they could donate one of their kidneys to Kaitlyn. Hamilton’s girlfriend Kristy Keir, a kindergarten teacher, turned out to be a perfect match.

Keir has been helping Hamilton get ready to open East Road Market and Deli, which will be located at 1404 East Road. The building was previously home to East Road MRE, which closed about three years ago.

The building is going through some minor renovations before it’s ready to open, said Hamilton. The convenience store will have a full cooler, a deli, and a few small fryers to make hot prepared foods.

Hamilton is still waiting on some permits and inspections, but he’s hoping to open January. “Everybody seems to be pretty excited about this,” said Hamilton.

The transplant happened on December 15, said Hamilton, and both Kaitlyn and Keir are recovering well. “It’s brought us closer together,” he said.