Pay it 4ward: Substitute teacher is rewarded for offering to donate kidney | KOB 4

Pay it 4ward: Substitute teacher is rewarded for offering to donate kidney

Kassi Nelson
September 21, 2018 12:46 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Knowing the teachers at Eugene Field Elementary school means knowing a family.


Each member plays a special part.

Monica Aranda teaches bilingual kindergarten.

“I love being a teacher. This is where I belong,” Aranda said.

But lately, Aranda has been spending less time in the classroom.

She has polycystic kidney disease.

“I've had like seven surgeries since the beginning of the year,” she said.

After long days of teaching, Aranda spends hours on dialysis. The treatment keeps her alive, but it’s her fellow teachers who keep her motivated.

“They've all been supportive and stepping up to cover my class and do whatever needed to be done in order for me to continue coming back,” Aranda said.

She said it's the sacrifice of one of her former substitutes, Leo Sanchez, that’s going to get her back into the classroom for good.

He has offered to donate his kidney, ultimately saving Aranda's life.

“I cried, I cried, and I cried,” she said. I was so grateful, so grateful.”

One of Aranda's fellow coworkers nominated Sanchez for Pay it 4ward.

He’s hit a few hurdles on his way to the kidney donation, including losing his health insurance when he was laid off from his job.

“It was a promise he made to Monica and it's very important for Leo to stand by his promise and this is going to help,” said Isela Imai.

Watch the video above to see the emotional moment when Leo learned he would receive $400 dollars.

People can help pay for Leo's medical bills on GoFundMe.


Kassi Nelson

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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