Back in 2018, 12-year-old Damien happened to tell his math and science teacher, Finn Lanning, wouldn’t be returning to AXL Academy in Aurora, Colorado, after Thanksgiving break. That conversation would change both of their lives forever.

Damien had been in foster care for four years, but was having problems finding placement because of his autoimmune disease that was damaging his kidneys. His health was deteriorating and he needed a transplant.  But Damien had been taken off the wait list because he didn’t have a stable home to return to. And despite not having any parenting experience, Finn knew he had to step in. He qualified to foster Damien in March 2019 and by June 14th that year, Damien got a kidney.  He’s been through some pretty intense treatments, but now is back in school, swimming and playing school sports! Now two years later, the adoption is official and they are excited about their future as father and son!





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