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This week isn’t just the celebration of a new year, but an opportunity to celebrate the generosity of the season.

The Washington Post reports Christine Buell, 45, and Kelvin Sanders III, 20, will go into surgery Tuesday after the mother of two decided to donate one of her kidneys to Sanders, who is battling renal kidney disease. Buell, Sanders’ former teacher-now-vice principal at Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory School in San Francisco, says she found out about Sanders’ health problems on Facebook.

While browsing the social site, she saw a post from Sanders’ family looking for a donor. Shortly after Sanders headed to San Francisco City College in 2014, he began feeling faint, lost a drastic amount of weight, and suffered from high blood pressure. Several tests revealed he had renal insufficiency and needed a donor as soon as possible.

After he started dialysis, several other family members and friends signed up to donate their kidneys, but were not a match. Buell underwent months of testing and found out she was the one.

Via The Washington Post:

Both Buell, who is Catholic, and Kelvin, who was raised Baptist, talk a lot about faith when explaining how they are feeling about the upcoming transplant. 

“Everything happens for a reason,” Kelvin said. “I was shocked and happy when I heard it was my teacher who was the match.”
 As for Buell, she said she is “going into this with 100 percent faith that this is the right thing to do. It is a gift given freely,” she said.

The surgery was scheduled to happen before the holidays at The University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), but after a donor died following their surgery, it was changed to another hospital. The chances of death in a kidney transplant are 0.06 percent. UCSF has suspended kidney surgeries until they determined what happened in the fatal surgery. The recipient is doing well and their identity has been kept hidden due to the death.

Sanders’ mother was frightened to hear about the tragedy and feared Buell would back out.

The Post reports:

“I broke down,” Kelvin’s mother Nicole said when she heard the news. “I was worried about Christine and maybe she shouldn’t go through with it. She assured me as tears were running down my face that she understood there was a chance of something happening to her but that she was confident she would be in the percent that is fine. That lady is amazing.”

In the months when Buell was going through the testing, she said she learned a lot about herself both mentally and physically. “Apparently I’m healthy as a horse, which is good to know,” she quipped. At every step, she said, UCSF told her she could change her mind and stop the process, but she said she never wavered in her decision.

Buell is hoping to be released in a timely matter after the surgery so she can spend New Year’s Eve with her family.

Sanders and his family created a GoFundMe for Buell to help pay for her hospital fees. So far, $8,980 has been raised for the $10,000 goal.

SOURCE: The Washington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Twitter

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