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DENVER — At Steck Elementary School in Hilltop, 4th grade math teacher, Andrew Menard is the focus of a lot of attention.

The reason — he is suffering from kidney failure.

Two years ago, students formed Kids4Kidneys to raise awareness about kidney disease and to help find their teacher a kidney.

“We just think more people need to be aware of how many people suffer from kidney troubles,” said Larissa Weiss. “There has to be someone out there who can help Mr. Menard get well.”

While Menard teaches math, he is also a living life-lesson for the children.

He has been open with his condition and they know that they could lose their teacher to dialysis or even death, if his kidneys get any worse.

“I am trying to stay positive these days, but a couple of years ago I was hopeful a live or cadaver donor could be found,” said Menard. “But now, I realize that having kidneys which are only functioning at about 15 percent might really be a serious problem for me.”

“I am kind of at D-Day,” Menard said. “The reality of dialysis is setting in.  That means four hours of being hooked up to a machine a few days a week, if a kidney isn’t found soon.”

The Steck family, DPS and the community around the school are all lending support to Menard and his family.  But living out a grim life-lesson is taxing on the teacher and all who know him.

The hope is that awareness being raised by kids and their teacher’s story will help generate leads to a possible solution.

If you would like to help, contact the Denver-based American Transplant Foundation at 303-757-0959  or on line at