DENVER (CBS4) – Educators devote their lives to their students, but one teacher at a Denver high school is actually saving a life. On Wednesday she will make a donation to a very sick student.
Jen Sculley says she is the perfect match in more ways than one. She is medically compatible, but more importantly, she believes the gift of life was meant to be.
It’s the start of a new semester at Denver’s East High School, but Sculley won’t be around for long. The physical education teacher will spend the rest of the month on medical leave. She’ll return to class minus a kidney.
“I am donating my left kidney to a student here at East High School,” Sculley said.
It all started with Sculley’s aunt and inspiration.
“(She) gave me hope on many days when I didn’t have any,” he said.
Sculley lost that aunt to cancer. A year later she found a connection — a student with her aunt’s name — a teenager suffering with kidney disease.
“And as she was telling me, this very clear voice said, ‘You’re going to give her a kidney,’ “ Sculley said.
It’s a loving voice Sculley lives by. She’s always happy to join a group hug. Colleagues marvel at her kindness.
“I’ve never seen a teacher in my 36 years go above and beyond to that extent,” teacher Rudy Carey said.
The young kidney recipient wants to remain anonymous. Sculley knows she is grateful for the gift, but so is Sculley.
“Through her I get to pass on the memory of my aunt and that’s amazing.”
In return, Sculley wants the girl to live a good, long life.
“When she’s 50 they’re going to be like, ‘You still have that old gym teacher’s kidney?’ And she’s going to be like, ‘Yeah.’ “
The kidney transplant takes place Wednesday morning. Sculley says she has no doubts. She says the teenager spends hours each night undergoing dialysis. Sculley is full of hope and joy for the student’s future.