The Post-Journal

Love School Paraprofessional Gives Greatest Gift — A Kidney

Christina Kebort with her UPK class.
Love Elementary School Paraprofessional Christina Kebort with her UPK class. Submitted photo.

Love Elementary School paraprofessional, Christina Kebort, can often be seen walking through the hallway with 17 children in tow, wearing her organ donor t-shirt, which states, “Organ- a part of the body vital for life” Donor – a person who gives” and on the back: “Proud to be a living donor – a life saver.” Ms. Kebort, who donated a kidney to a stranger, is not only an inspiration to Love School staff but also an amazing role model for students to understand the true meaning of giving.

Ms. Kebort has been a part of the Love School Family since 1997. She began in the PACT (Parents and Children Together) room with Mrs. Tordella and continues to work in the PACT room with UPK teacher, Pat Cunningham.

Ms. Kebort’s favorite part of the day is working with the children who arrive bright and early to eat breakfast with her. Her days begin by helping with breakfast, move into morning meeting, circle time, small group working centers, lunch in the classroom, plan do recall and getting kids ready to go home. Her favorite moments are the interaction with the kids helping to make their day full of giggles and smiles. Ms. Kebort appreciates the amount of time she can spend with her “kiddos.”

One day, Ms. Kebort was scrolling through Facebook and found a young woman’s Facebook page. Lillian’s children had set-up a page because she was in desperate need of a kidney. Because Ms. Kebort’s brother Bill had passed away from kidney failure, she felt the best way to honor her brother was to help save someone else’s life. Bill had given Ms. Kebort a beautiful necklace of two dolphins. He said the gold dolphin was Ms. Kebort, the silver dolphin was him, saying “You always have my back sister.” She was grateful to be able to be there for her brother and cherishes all of her memories. She was with Bill for his final moments and knew his leaving was peaceful. It felt right to honor him by donating her kidney to Lillian.

Ms. Kebort had kidney surgery on what would have been Bill’s 40th birthday and was released from the hospital the afternoon of her own birthday. While in the hospital and out of work for several weeks, Ms. Kebort was able to stay in contact with her kids at school through text messages and face-timing the class to say hello.

“Chris is such a great example for the staff and children at Love School of what true, unselfish giving is,” said Love Elementary School Principal Renee Hartling. “She has been such a great staff member at Love but more importantly just a person who really cares. Her kidney donation shows our children that thinking about someone else and what they are going through, and more importantly, how can you help them, is what makes you a good person.”

The additional financial assistance of the community is critical to the success of the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame.
We gratefully acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their generous support.