Sixth-Grade Teacher Donates His Kidney To 12-Year-Old Student In Need

"There are no words to even begin to describe how this is making me feel."

Kaden Koebcke was just 2 years old when he was diagnosed with kidney disease. Unfortunately, his body rejected his father's donated kidney, and it had to be removed days after the operation. 

Since then, the now-12-year-old has spent a decade on dialysis, waiting for a live kidney donor. 


His family started the Kaden's Kidney Search Facebook page in hopes of finding a match. According to AJC, the search became more dire over the last few years as it became necessary for Kaden to go to a clinic three times a week for dialysis as opposed to being able to do it at home. 

In May, a match was found. Thanks to his sixth-grade technology teacher, William Wilkinson, Kaden was able to find out the identity of the donor just before surgery.

Wilkinson — who has a son similar in age to Kaden and is close with the Koebcke family— came over to the Koebcke's house at the end of the school year. He asked if they would like to know who the donor is. 

That's when he revealed that the donor was himself.

It turned out the sixth-grade teacher was the perfect match. He explained to Fox 5 that he understood the situation Kaden and his family were in based on personal experience. "My son was actually in kidney failure when he was 2-and-a-half," said the Grace Christian Academy teacher. "So, I remember being in that position as a parent, wanting someone to help."

"There are no words to even begin to describe how this is making me feel for Will to give this amazing gift to my son," Kaden's mom, Cami Koebcke, told AJC. "There is no greater gift." 

On August 14, the surgeries took place. Kaden's family has been sharing updates on the Kaden's Kidney Search Facebook page about Kaden and Wilkinson.

There was some concern that Kaden's new kidney wasn't producing enough urine, but it seems to be improving as of an update from August 15.

"Kaden had a great day today. His urine output continues to be great, and we are so thankful for that. His lab results continue to get better and better. Not where they need to be, but the numbers continue to go in the right direction! He will continue to get his plasmapheresis treatments daily to fight off any re-occurrence," the family reported.

"We are hoping to leave the ICU in a few days and go to the transplant floor for the rest of his recovery."

As for Wilkinson, the Facebook page revealed he's doing well and he's walking and "in his chair more than the bed." There was even potential talk about him being released shortly.

Fox 5 originally reported that if the surgery went well, Kaden would spend a month at the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston Hospital, then recover at home for another month before returning to school. Wilkinson is expected to be off work for about six weeks.

The Koebcke family thanked everyone for their prayers and support.

Having support and raising awareness about organ donations is vital for families. Every 10 minutes another person is added to the waiting list, according to the U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Transplantation. What's more, 95 percent of U.S. adults support organ donation but only 54 percent are actually signed up as donors.

It's something that people are trying to change, including teachers who started an organ donation chain and the stories of eight children whose lives were changed from organ donations.

(H/T: People)


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