George Labecki, a former teacher at Cedar Cliff High School in Pennsylvania, learned that he would be receiving a kidney donation from a former student in a heartwarming viral moment that saw the student — 34-year-old Lindsay Arnold Wenrich — dressed up as Penn State‘s Nittany Lion.
The 63-year-old Labecki, who had been on a transplant list for over a year due to stage IV kidney disease and organ failure, learned that he would be receiving a new kidney from Wenrich, who was dressed as a Nittany Lion, the mascot for Penn State University. Labecki is a massive Penn State fan.
After posting to social media in search of a donor six months ago, his Facebook post was eventually seen by Wenrich. Despite never having Labecki as a teacher, Wenrich told Good Morning America that she “felt compelled to help” because it “hit close to home”:
“It’s not super often that I see someone I know who needs an organ donor and even though I never had him, Cedar Cliff is a close-knit community, Wenrich said.
via ABC News:
In April, Labecki’s wife convinced him to take his search for a donor to social media. The Facebook post was shared by some, including Kathy Young, Labecki’s former colleague, and Wenrich’s former gym teacher at Cedar Cliff High School in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.
Wenrich attended Cedar Cliff where Labecki taught English for 34 years. As a student, Weinrich didn’t have Labecki as a teacher, but when she saw his post on Facebook, she felt compelled to help.
Wenrich was tested in May and learned in September that she was a match. This month, Wenrich surprised Labecki, a big Penn State Nittany Lions fan, at his home while wearing the Penn State University mascot uniform.
“I think I’m prepared and knowledgeable and know what to expect,” Weinrich said. “Luckily my work and my family has been really supportive. George [Labecki] and I became instant friends. I think we are going to be a really big part of each other’s lives.”
Wenrich delivered the news to Labecki at his home on October 6 and the surgery is scheduled for Friday, October 26.