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Lexington teacher finds a kidney donor after years of searching

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Posted at 12:32 PM, Jun 19, 2024

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — After years of searching, a Lexington elementary school teacher has finally found a kidney donor.

April Littrell, a teacher at Garrett Morgan Elementary School, was diagnosed with a rare blood cell disorder, light chain deposition disease, over a decade ago.

In recent years, the condition has taken a toll on her kidneys. Littrell's doctors wanted her to find a living kidney donor who could help improve her quality of life.

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For months, Littrell has been racing home from school to complete her dialysis treatments and missing out on big moments in order to maintain her health, and for three years, she's been looking for a match.

LEX 18 met with Littrell in her classroom last fall and spoke with her in January as she worried about her ability to stay in the classroom.

Finally, she found a donor.

"I was like, could this really be someone who could be a match for me?" Littrell said.

An acquaintance of a friend on social media came across Littrell's story and stepped up to volunteer herself as a donor. It turns out that she was a match.

Littrell got the news in April, and now, she's set to receive the transplant next week.

"We're just hoping to get back to all the normal things and feeling the best I can, and not having, first of all, as many doctors appointments as I've had," she said.

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Littrell will spend the summer and the beginning of the school year recovering. She hopes her story teaches a new kind of lesson to her young students.

"Things do get challenging, but we can still push through them and make it through, and have that light at the end of the tunnel," she said.

And for others considering organ donation, Littrell knows firsthand just how life-changing it can be.