A teacher in Colorado is going above and beyond to care for one of his seventh graders outside the classroom. Finn Lanning met 13-year-old Damien at the beginning of the school year, but the teen had to leave school to go live in the hospital to get dialysis for 12 hours every day for a kidney disorder. He had been living with a relative, but that didn’t work out, so he was stuck in the hospital for months to get the care he needs until foster care could find him a new home.
Damien desperately needs a kidney transplant, but having an unstable living situation keeps him off the transplant list, because without stable housing, he’s considered “high risk.” After learning all this, Lanning says he “could no longer look away” and invited the teen to come live with him. He’s giving him a good home, working on becoming his official foster parent, and first and foremost – getting him on the transplant list so he can get a new kidney! And he eventually wants to adopt Damien, too.
“Damien has been let down by a number of systems and adults throughout his life,” Lanning says. “Despite the challenges of providing for his care, I am committed to not being another adult that lets him down.”