Math teacher adopts sick student to give him a forever home and help him get a kidney

Before he was taken in by his teacher, a very special boy was in desperate need of a transplant but he was sadly taken off the waiting list because he did not have a place he could truly call home. 

Math teacher Finn Lanning didn’t think he would ever become a dad. But his whole world turned around after he had one wonderful conversation with a little man named Damien, who would stand out from his classmates for a number of reasons.

Finn told PEOPLE magazine:

“He was one of the few new students. He was studious and smart and funny, and he was in a couple of my elective classes as well, so we’d gotten to know each other a little bit.”

Image: CNN

Finn was aware of Damien’s amazing performance at school, but he had no idea that his life was filled with problems.

One day, back in 2018, while the boy was studying at the AXL Academy in Aurora, Colorado, he approached Finn and told him he wouldn’t be coming back to school.

Finn recalled for CBS Evening News:

“He just came to me and said, I’m not coming back to school.'” 


Image: GoFundMe

And that is when Finn learned that Damien was suffering from an autoimmune disease called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. His kidneys had failed when he was 8 and he was then put on dialysis. However, because he was in foster care, he did not get the chance to have the much-needed kidney transplant.

Image: CNN

Since he had been in foster care for 4 years, the boy could only have the transplant done if he was living in a stable home for his recovery process. And that was the reason for him to be taken off of the transplant waiting list.

Finn said about learning of the boy’s story:

“It hit me like a ton of bricks. It was hard for him to find placement because he was sick.”He told me he had to leave the foster home he was living in and was moving into the hospital because they didn’t have another place for him. I remember kind of sitting there with him and not really knowing what to say.”

Image: GoFundMe

Finn decided to start visiting Damien in the hospital and when he learned that he was excluded from the waiting list, he immediately took the boy, giving him a new forever home as well as the kidney transplant he needed so much.

“I had no experience being a parent, but I couldn’t look away,” Finn said. “I never thought I would end up being a father.”

Image: CBS

Despite the struggles of Damien’s past, Finn was able to bring back his happiness, even though the boy was skeptical at first due to his disappointing previous experiences in foster homes, CNN reported.

“The previous two foster homes said that they were stable. I didn’t think that this one would last either,” Damien.

“It’s kind of bad thinking about that, but some people actually do that. Like, they’ll be happy with you one day and then just kick you out the next,” Damien told CBS News.

Image: CNN

However, Finn proved his worth as a father and two years have now gone by since the two found each other. 

Today the 15-year-old boy is happier and healthier than he ever was.

Damian said:

“It’s like a dream come true.”

What are your thoughts on this inspiring story? Let us know by joining the conversation in the comments and please share this article if you’ve enjoyed the read.

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