Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A lesson in kindness and compassion: Teacher donates her kidney in memory of her dead aunt.

When Colorado teacher Jen Sculley heard one of her students desperately needed a kidney transplant she didn't think twice about offering to help. Jen Sculley was a perfect match for her young student who was going through dialysis every day due to a rare kidney disease.

Jen Sculley donated her kidney as a way of honoring her recently deceased Aunt.

Jen Sculley offered to help the girl as a way to honor an aunt who died recently from cancer and who shared the same name as the student. She first learned of her student's serious kidney problems when the girl, who was having dialysis every day, told her she wouldn't be able to join in all the activities in the sports class.

The student has FSGS, a disease that attacks the kidney's filtering process. As she explained her illness, Jen Sculley said she heard a clear voice saying: 'You are going to give her a kidney.' She thought it was the voice of her Aunt who died recently from cancer.

The girl's family and friends had already put themselves forward as possible donors but no match had been found - until Jen Sculley was tested.

'Through her I get to pass on the memory of my aunt and that’s amazing,' Ms. Sculley said.

Kidney donations are on the decline, yet the need is rising.
“Home of the angels’ is proud of their Gym Teacher’s actions.

Colleagues at the Denver school, with its' motto 'Home of the angels', praised Jen Sculley.

'I’ve never seen a teacher in my 36 years go above and beyond to that extent,' Rudy Carey, a teacher at the school, said.

The transplant happened last week and Ms. Sculley is spending the rest of the month on medical leave. The physical education teacher at Denver's East High School and her student, who has not been named, are both making good progress after their operations on Friday.

Jen Sculley is one of several teachers donating kidneys to students.

Jen Sculley is not the first teacher to donate a life-saving kidney to a student. Several other teachers across the country have made headlines recently for going beyond the classroom to help students with kidney donations.

· Last year in Ohio, 8-year-old first-grader Nicole Miller was in desperate need of a kidney transplant and received a donated kidney from her former kindergarten teacher Wendy Killian.

· Another kindergarten teacher in Texas donated a kidney to a student's father who needed a transplant.

· And in 2009, a teacher in New York donated a one of her kidneys to a 19-year-old writing student in need of a transplant who was on a waitlist that could have taken up to eight years to finally receive a kidney – eight years he didn’t have.

Teachers play such an important role in student’s lives. Teachers teach us life lessons and these teachers have taught us the ultimate act of kindness. They’ve given the gift of life.

Jen Sculley is hugged by students.

Kidney donations are on the decline since 2004, yet the need is ever increasing.

For more information about kidney disease and how to become a donor, 

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