This math teacher has not just opened his heart and home to a student – he has also given the youngster a chance to receive a new kidney.
Finn Lanning teaches middle school math classes at the AXL Academy in Aurora, Colorado. He first met 13-year-old Damien when the school year started in August – but unfortunately, they did not have very long to connect in class.
Damien was just 8 years old when his kidneys failed. The youngster needs to be hooked up to a home dialysis machine for 12 hours of a time, and his condition requires him to stay on a very strict diet.
Furthermore, Damien has been in and out of various foster homes since he was child. Whenever his medical issues became too much for a caregiver, he would be sent to live in the hospital.
Every time Damien was sent to the hospital, he had to be removed from the transplant list because unstable housing is considered to be too high-risk for organ failure.
His most recent caregiver sent the youngster back into county custody in December – but when Lanning learned about his student’s circumstances, he started stopping by the hospital to chat and bring Damien up to speed with his school work.
Damien was in the hospital for about three months before Lanning knew that he had to give the youngster a home.
“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,” the educator told KDVR.
Even though caring for Damien has been a challenging process for Lanning, he and his student have received an outpouring of support along the way.
In addition to welcoming the youngster into his home, Lanning started taking time off of work in order to train as Damien’s caregiver. His colleagues have been donating their sick days to the educator so he could continue training and taking Damien to his doctor’s appointments.
The expensive grocery list that is required for Damien’s restrictive diet also costs about $200 per week – but a GoFundMe page for the student-teacher duo has raised over $50,000 since it was started in February.
Now that he lives with his math teacher, Damien has been placed back on the transplant list and the two of them say that they are expecting a call from the hospital any day now. Once Lanning finishes his caregiver training, he hopes to officially adopt Damien by the end of the year.
Until then, the surge of GoFundMe donations will help to finance their new lives together as a family.
“Damien deserves, at the very least, to have a place he can call home, and these funds will make furnishing our home possible,” says Lanning. “Additional funds raised will be used to provide opportunities Damien hasn’t been able to access for the last several years including cooking classes and maybe a family vacation once he is healed from transplant.
“These funds make our life logistically simpler, but, more than that, the support and warm wishes keep us moving forward,” he added.
(WATCH the news coverage below) – Photo by KDVR
Be Sure And Share This Inspiring Story With Your Friends On Social Media…