The Short of It
A Wisconsin teacher's decision to share a kidney with her student is caught in an emotional video.
First-grader Natasha Fuller needs a kidney. Unbeknownst to her family, her teacher got tested to see if she was a match to donate. When she found out she is a match, she wanted to surprise the family with the joyful news.
The video opens with Oakfield Elementary School first-grade teacher Jodi Schmidt presenting Natasha's grandmother, Chris Burelton, with what she thinks is a gift of admiration for how hard she has worked to get the little girl to school despite her illness.
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Burelton opens the pink box, completely unaware of how life changing the gift inside will be. The moment she sees the message that Schmidt is a match to donate the kidney, she gasps and covers her mouth in shock, as the selfless teacher giggles gleefully that her big surprise has been unveiled.
For several moments, the overwhelmed grandmother can't stop sobbing. Finally, the two women embrace; and if you're not crying by now, well, maybe you clicked on the wrong video!
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"Here I thought I was coming to school 'cuz she was naughty!" Burelton jokes.
A few moments later, Natasha is brought into the room, where Schmidt tells her, "I think you are a very special little girl." Then the first-grader opens the box and sees the message ... but she's not 100 percent sure what it means. She's very polite and gives her teacher a hug, but she's really more excited that they will be getting Popsicles in the hospital!
For her part, Schmidt says she thinks this donation was meant to be: "I figured I'm O-negative blood and it did just come to me. I think we're all brought to a certain place and time for a reason."
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Thank goodness for people like Jodi Schmidt. Here's hoping her brave act will help others consider kidney donation for people in need.