Helena Intermediate School Teacher making kidney donation - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Helena Intermediate School Teacher making kidney donation

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A Shelby County teacher will spend her Christmas break recovering from surgery. She made a decision to help improve another person's life. It's a decision she's even shared with her class.

"I'm getting my Christmas present early."

After one year of dialysis, Butch Hopper will no longer have to wait up to 8 years to get a new kidney. "Very blessed I have this daughter-in-law who is willing to step forward and donate her kidney and was fortunate she was a match."

"When he was diagnosed with having kidney failure which was about a year ago, it was last Fall, they knew the machine was not going to keep him alive forever."

But on December 19th, Sarah Hopper, who teaches 5th grade at Helena Intermediate School, will give him the gift of a better life. "I just wanted to step up. If he needed it, he can have it."

The busy teacher and mother says she was the most viable choice in the family, but admits she was nervous about becoming a donor - until she got educated on the subject.

Hopper says," I was nervous until I went through UAB to be tested and to see what all was involved and I started thinking this is such a gift and neat thing to do."

Hopper says the procedure will only require her to drink more fluids. She's already educated her students about it. "We actually study about the human body in 5th grade so when we talked about the urinary system I told them."

Student, Reid Hess, says "It really makes me feel happy, helps me get into the Christmas spirit."

Reid Hess calls his teacher compassionate - a teacher simply wanting to make, yet another difference in someone's life. "It's the least I could do for people who do a lot for me."

Butch Hopper says, " I am really glad I have a great daughter in law."

The family encourages the importance of being a donor. Although recovery can take up to 6 weeks, Sarah Hopper says she plans on returning to school after Christmas break.

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