San Francisco

‘It's Meant to Be': San Francisco Educator Donating Kidney to Former Student

The principal of a San Francisco high school will donate a kidney to a 20-year-old former student who was diagnosed with a deadly illness a year after he graduated.

Kelvin Sanders, who is on daily dialysis, has end-stage renal failure and both kidneys have failed. His family created a Facebook page, "Kidney for Kelvin," in hopes of finding a donor.

Doctors at the University of California San Francisco found a match and scheduled surgery, but the original donor got sick and the procedure was canceled.

That's when Sanders caught the attention of Christine Buell, a principal at Sacred Heart Cathedral. Sanders is a graduate of the Catholic school.

"I couldn't believe someone I knew so healthy and so young needed a kidney," said Buell. "I could do it for anyone, but how great to do it with someone I have a connection with."

Sanders said he was at a loss for words when he heard Buell was a match.

"It was unbelievable," he said.

The surgery will be held Tuesday at another hospital after a kidney donor died at UCSF in November, prompting the facility to suspend its living kidney donor program. The death is under investigation.

Buell said the plan is to move forward.

"It doesn't scare me," Buell said. "I feel like it's meant to be. All these steps along the way seem like it was meant to be."

Sanders has set up GoFundMe account for Buell to offset any expenses that may occur post surgery. The San Francisco Police Officers Association has also made a contribution.

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