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Teacher Gives Gift of Life

Junior High School Teacher Gives the Gift of Life
Posted on 01/10/2020
Junior HIgh School Teacher Gives the Gift of LifeMarion (Lynn) Burgess, a Longwood Junior High School Special Education teacher, recently gave a remarkable gift to her son ... the gift of life.

In May 2019, Kevin, one of Burgess' three children, was diagnosed with a rare virus permanently damaging his kidneys.  With his kidney function at only 12 percent, Kevin was immediately placed on dialysis and admitted to Cornell Hospital, where the search for a donor began.

After extensive testing, Burgess, along with several family members and friends, were determined matches.

“Thankfully, I’m very healthy, and being Kevin’s mom, I knew that I was meant to be his donor,” she said. “With proper care, my kidney should last for 25 years. If Kevin should eventually need another kidney, he’ll still have options of other family members.  It's like having a kidney or two in the bank!”

The transplant was completed in October, but during presurgical testing, doctors found a precancerous tumor on her remaining kidney. The tumor was removed, but she is being monitored carefully.

“In essence, we saved each other,” she said. “If I didn’t donate my kidney, my prognosis would be very different and doctors would have had a totally different conversation with me."
 
When Ms. Burgess returned to her classroom in December, she was greeted with vibrant posters l filled with messages of love, support, and positivity.  

“I’m truly blessed to work in this school district,” she explained. “The students and staff watch over me, making sure I’m safe and well. While this ordeal has been traumatic both physically and mentally, it’s also been tremendously positive thanks to the love and support of my family and school community.” 

Marion Burgess
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