Durhamville teacher fights for life in need of kidney transplant
DURHAMVILLE, N.Y. —
It's been an unrelenting battle for an Oneida County teacher diagnosed with kidney disease back in 2004.
For the majority of the last 14 years, 5th grade teacher Michael DeMaintenon has been able to live a normal life.
However, his health has slowly begun to deteriorate and in the fall of 2015 his kidney function dipped below 20 percent.
For the most part, his health has been stable, but last month, DeMaintenon learned his kidney function dipped to dangerous levels below 10 percent.
The next winter in 2016, DeMaintenon was placed on the transplant list.
While DeMaitenon teaches in his Durhamville Elementary 5th grade classroom, it's an everyday ritual.
On a daily basis DeMaitenon is answering student’s questions even though he doesn’t know the answer to his biggest one.
"When I found out I had kidney disease I was like this is like a death warrant, I mean I was like I'm done,” DeMaitenon said.
Even as he’s fighting for his life, the 39-year old has continued teaching at Durhamville.
"Over the years I’ve grown as a person I’ve had a lot of life experiences since then,” DeMaitenon said.
As DeMaitenon faces this urgent health crisis, he turned to Facebook where he made a page addressing the need for a kidney.
"I just put it out there that this was going on and I’m in need of a kidney,” DeMaitenon said.
Through the halls at Durhamville he's known as the funny guy, the guy that makes everyone smile and the guy who always has everyone’s back.
His 5th grade students are now spreading the word.
“I would say if you guys know anybody that would like to donate one I would see if they could help him with it because needs it really badly,” said 5th grader Claire Vaccaro.
Several faculty members were tested to see if they were a match, but it hasn’t worked out,
“We try to remain optimistic that there’s someone out there that is going to come forward and to be a perfect match for Mr.DeMaintenon." said Durhamville Elementary principal Margaret Visalli.
His biggest support system includes his children and his wife Kristen.
At a certain point in everyone’s life you have to ask for help, there’s no other way,” DeMaintenon.
DeMaitenon is on the kidney transplant list, but he says it's a long process.
He is trying to get the word out in any way he can, in hopes that someone is inspired to be tested, and is a match.