Teaching assistant donating kidney to co-worker - Atlanta News, Weather, Traffic, and Sports | FOX 5

Teaching assistant donating kidney to co-worker

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A north Georgia teaching assistant is giving the gift of life to a co-worker and friend of 16 years. Felicia Henderson is donating her kidney to the physical education teacher at Mount Zion Elementary School in Carrollton.

Ed Mann's health has suffered for the past three years. In 2009, he was diagnosed with scleroderma, an autoimmune disease.

"I had lung heart issues at first and then it took my kidneys out," said Mann.

Mann has continued to go to work for the past three years despite having to undergo six-hour dialysis treatments three days a week.

He first tried to find a donor the traditional way, but then he had an idea. He made a Facebook posting asking for a donor.

Henderson answered that call, not knowing if she would be a match for her co-worker and friend of 16 years.
           
Once doctors at the Emory Kidney Transplant Center confirmed that she was a match, Felicia didn't hesitate. She says that she knew it was the right thing to do.

"Actually, people that give a kidney, that are able to give a kidney, they live longer than the average person. Not because they have given a kidney, but because they were healthy enough in the first place to be able to do it," said Henderson.

Because of the gift, Coach Mann will continue to teach Mount Zion's kids how to stay physically fit.

"The gift of life. I know I've got so many good friends. Very thoughtful, very kind," said Mann.

The kidney transplant will take place on Friday.
        
Doctors at Emory say they should both recover from the surgery in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Mann looks forward to that since he says he hasn't had a good Thanksgiving meal in three years.

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