12-year-old Colorado student Damien walked up to his teacher, Mr. Lanning in 2018 and told him he wouldn’t be returning to school after the Thanksgiving break. Damien had an autoimmune disease that had damaged his kidneys. He was also in foster care and it was hard for him to find a home because of his medical issues. Damien was going to be moving into the hospital because they didn’t have another place for him.
Damien was on dialysis 12 hours a day and he desperately needed a kidney transplant. Then, he was taken off the transplant list because of a lack of permanent residence. That’s when Mr. Lanning knew he had to step in. He applied and met all of the qualifications to foster Damien. 4 months later, Damien had a successful kidney transplant. He’s now back at school and playing sports.
Mr. Lanning says, “I had no experience being a parent, but I couldn’t look away.”