Read time: 1 minute

Colorado Teacher Takes In Student, 13, Who Needs A Kidney

To get on the transplant list, you need a stable home. Damien didn't have one.
Views:

I thought we could all use a story about kindness and human compassion today.

Finn Lanning, a teacher at a charter school in Aurora, CO, has a student who's been in foster care most of his life.

That's because he has a kidney disease that requires dialysis, and his medical needs have kept him from finding a permanent home.

But that presented the biggest obstacle to getting a kidney transplant: He had to have a stable home. A relative was able to care for Damien briefly last year, which first allowed him to get on the transplant list, but was returned to foster care because of the challenges. And that removed him from the transplant list.

“Although he has significant health challenges, he is an excellent student and a kind, generous, and motivated human being,” Lanning wrote in the description to the GoFundMe page he set up for Damien.

“He spent, at that point, three or four months living in the hospital waiting for a placement. And over that time, I started out going in to give him his work and just hang out with him a little bit, keep him caught up in the classroom. And as I learned more about his story and what he was facing and what his needs were and why they weren’t being met, it just became really hard for me to look the other way,” Lanning told a local TV station.

The teacher began to consider the daunting task of caring for Damien's medical needs, and Damien moved in -- which allowed him to get back on the transplant list.

They expect him to get a kidney within weeks, but that's not the end of the story. Lanning and Damien plan on staying together, "probably" for adoption.


More C&L Coverage

Comments

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.