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Colorado 7th grade math teacher, Finn Lanning, went way above expectations when he adopted one of his students who was experiencing homelessness.
KDVR reported that Lanning discovered one of his math pupils had suffered serious kidney disease for most of his life. The disease required the student, named Damien, to be hooked up to dialysis for 12-hours every day.
To compound the problem, Damien was homeless–a foster kid whose health issues kept him from finding a family to care for him more than a few weeks. But even through his troubles, Damien was a bright and active participant in class.
Lanning told KDVR Damien came to his room at school to tell him he would no longer be in his class. When Lanning asked why, Damien said he had to go live in the hospital.
Damien has a disorder called FSGS and must have a new kidney. But because of his homelessness, he was not eligible to be placed on the transplant list.
For the next several months, Lanning visited Damien in the hospital, bringing him school work and getting to know more about him. Eventually, Lanning knew he couldn’t leave Damien in that situation. He decided to take him in despite not even having any children of his own.
Life with Lanning meant getting his own bedroom and getting to the top of the transplant list. He will likely get his kidney now and maybe a permanent home.
Lanning would like to move towards adoption.
But as anyone with teenaged boys knows, the care and feeding of one gets expensive. Damien is on a special diet and faces medical bills upon medical bills. Until Lanning gets all his fostering paperwork filed and approved, all expenses are on him.
Lanning even created a Gofundme page to help with their finances. More of Damien’s story about his instability in home and health, as well as updates, can be found there.
And good news! Damien got the kidney!
About 3 weeks ago, Damien got a new kidney! We are home from the hospital and Damien is doing great. His kidney is working really well and his dietary and fluid restrictions have been lifted.
He is eating like it’s the first time in years his food tastes good (which it is!), he has a lot more energy (which he is using for anything except chores), and we are both enjoying the freedom to spend a lot more time of out the house.
Last weekend, we traveled to Kansas so Damien could meet my family for the first time, and the trip was great! The safety net that has been created by the generous support of so many people has made this time much simpler for both of us.
We very much appreciate the kindness so many have shown.
What a great end to a heartwarming story!