A teacher has done the unimaginable and has been incredibly kind enough to adopt a 13-year-old student so he can have a stable home and get a kidney transplant.
Being on the waiting list for a transplant is already a traumatic thing for a young teen to have to go through, but poor Damien has also spent most of his life in and out of foster care too.
Damien suffers from focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, which means he needs a new kidney. During this awful long wait, he’s gone from foster home to foster home, struggling to find somewhere to accommodate his medical needs.
His life has been spent enduring long stints living in hospital, during theses stays Damien is considered too high risk for organ donation, which means he’s bumped further and further down the list.
Damien, one day, told his math teacher, Finn Lanning, that he wouldn’t be coming back to AXL Academy because he was on his way back to hospital.
Lanning decided to adopt Damien, to give him the stable home he needs to finally ensure he is approved for a donation.
Via a GoFundMe page, Lanning wrote:
“If he had a consistent home during his life, he almost certainly would have received a transplant long ago. Unfortunately, lack of stable housing has kept him from being eligible when matching kidneys became available.
This past summer, Damien was able to move in with a relative and began attending the school where I teach. Although he has significant health challenges, he is an excellent student and a kind, generous, and motivated human being. He excelled at school, and his mental and physical health improved.
These improvements allowed him to be approved by his medical team to be placed back on the transplant list – a move that meant he was likely only a few weeks or months from receiving a kidney that would make so much more possible for his life.
But unfortunately, the relative became unable to cope with Damien’s needs and he was returned to county custody, which meant another stint living in hospital.
Unable to keep his challenges off my heart and mind, I began the personal journey of considering taking on his care.”
What Damien is doing doesn’t come without costs, as he is in need of a strict diet which can cost up to $200 per week.
Lanning set up the GoFundMe page asking people to help financially support him in his care of Damien to ultimately get him the kidney he needs.
In three months he’s exceeded his goal of $30,000 and raised an impressive $47,288 at the time of writing.