Retired teacher reaches out to former students for a kidney - FOX 32 News Chicago

Retired teacher reaches out to former students for a kidney

Posted: Updated:
HAMTRAMCK, Mich. (WJBK) - A retired Hamtramck teacher is learning a valuable life lesson of his own now after reaching out to his former students, asking them to donate a kidney.

Sixty-five-year-old Stanley Nalepa has had heart surgery, shingles and even skin cancer in the past. Then, doctors told him his kidney was failing.

"At first, I wasn't going to get [a donated kidney] for humanitarian reasons. I wanted the younger people to have it instead of me. Then, I thought of my grandkids - 13, 5 and 4 [years old]. I want to see them grow up and do things," he says.  

He has since passed all the tests making sure his body would accept a new kidney, and attends dialysis three times a week.  

Then, one of his nurses urged him to share his situation on social media after learning he was friends with nearly 300 of his former students on Facebook.

So, as Nalepa says, he "swallowed his pride and put it out there."

He says he couldn't believe the responses he began to get from his students.

"This might be my lucky stars, these students. I taught them, and they taught me a lot now about compassion," says an emotional Nalepa. "One student said she's going to start a kidney donor campaign just for me, and that really got to me. I wasn't very emotional in class; I was the tough guy. But now, every phone call or every time I read [a message], it really gets to me and it's sinking in how much I had an impact on these students' lives."

Nalepa was born and raised in Hamtramck, and taught in the Hamtramck School District for 31 years.

He's still not sure if he will actually receive a kidney from a former student, but says some have gotten tested already but are not a match.

For information on how you can be tested to become a kidney donor for Nalepa, you can call him at (586) 751-6898.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Grosse Pointe Park's new farmer's market seen by some as a barrier to Detroit

    Grosse Pointe Park's new farmer's market seen by some as a barrier to Detroit

    Monday, July 28 2014 11:25 PM EDT2014-07-29 03:25:26 GMT
    Some Detroiters are calling for a boycott of Grosse Pointe Park after the city built a farmer's market that they believe cuts off access to and from Detroit.
    Some Detroiters are calling for a boycott of Grosse Pointe Park after the city built a farmer's market that they believe cuts off access to and from Detroit.
  • Detroit teen recovering after basketball accident at park

    Detroit teen recovering after basketball accident at park

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:51:50 GMT
    A Detroit teen is seriously hurt after an accident at a Detroit park. He has a long road to recovery ahead, but has a strong support system that isn't giving up hope.
    A Detroit teen is seriously hurt after an accident at a Detroit park. He has a long road to recovery ahead, but has a strong support system that isn't giving up hope.

  • Man shot, killed during carjacking on Detroit's west side

    Man shot, killed during carjacking on Detroit's west side

    Monday, July 28 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-07-29 02:37:16 GMT
    A man was shot to death in an attempted carjacking on Detroit's west side, according to police.
    A man was shot to death in an attempted carjacking on Detroit's west side, according to police.
Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices