School teacher to donate kidney to 8-year-old student

Posted at 10:50 PM, Mar 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-10 22:52:30-05

Oakfield, Wis. – A Fond du Lac County elementary school teacher is making an unusually big impact on the life of one of her students.

Jodi Schmidt, a first-grade teacher at Oakfield Elementary School, is about to donate a kidney to 8-year-old Natasha Fuller.

“She’s sweet, and she’s very sick, but she’s always happy,” Jodi Schmidt said.

Natasha was born with kidney disease. She’s been surviving on dialysis.

“It’s a little bit boring because I have to sit in my room when I’m hooked up, and I don’t get to go play with my friends,’ Natasha said.

Doctors said to keep on living she would need a transplant. Last week, Schmidt looked into those smiling eyes and declared, “I’ll do it.” She first told Natasha’s grandmother.

“I was just just shocked when I opened up the box, just amazed, speechless,” Natasha’s grandmother, Chris Burleton, said.

“It came to me, and that was it I made a few phone calls and everybody has been very supportive,” Schmidt said.

Her husband said they have three little kids of their own.

“Of course I’m going to support her, yeah, but I’m probably more nervous about it than she is,” Richard Schmidt said.

“Her, and her husband and her family are our family now forever,” Burleton said.

Jodi Schmidt started the process in December to find out if she was a match.

They’re hoping to be scheduled for the transplant in about a month.