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[Weekly Inspiration] This Middle School Teacher Fostered A Student Battling Kidney Disease

[Weekly Inspiration] This Middle School Teacher Fostered A Student Battling Kidney Disease

A few months ago, middle-school teacher Finn Lanning and 13-year-old student Damien knew each other only as teacher and student. Finn was one of Damien’s favorites. As he put it, “When a teacher doesn’t bother me over and over again… that’s better. Like, leave me alone, I’ll leave you alone, I’ll get my work done.” Finn had similarly high praise for Damien. “He’s smart and funny and was always a student that stood out.”

This relationship was all normal, up until Damien approached his teacher one day and said that he wouldn’t be coming back to school. He learned that Damien had spent a life in foster care. He had kidney disease, and his medical needs were now so great that social services could not find a home that could care for him. He would be moving into a hospital and wouldn’t be able to come back to class.

That is, until his teacher did what teachers do: went above and beyond to help his student. Finn became a foster parent, taking Damien and his medical needs into his home and shouldering the burden that nobody else would.

“It hit me like a ton of bricks,” he explained. “You can’t just sit across from somebody that you care about and hear them say something like that and know that you have room to help.”

And although he was a happily confirmed bachelor, Finn has adapted to his new role well. He never imagined that he would bring one of his students home every day, but now, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Finn and Damien have been together now for a few months. And although Damien is still unsure how long things will last, Finn already knows where he stands. “Whether he believes it or not doesn’t change the fact that I’m not going anywhere.”

Finn plans to adopt Damien as soon as possible.

Check out the video from CBS Evening News.

Chris.Gruhlke's picture

Chris Gruhlke is a published author with a broad writing background covering a variety of topics, including politics, education, public safety, and technology. In 2018, he joined Edmentum as a Bid Operations Writer, where he helps to bring Edmentum’s transformational solutions to school districts across the United States.

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