Beloved teacher looking for kidney donor

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"You still gotta smile, because that's what you're here for and to teach and to to learn and be here for them," he said.

DAMASCUS, Md. (WDVM) – A Damascus High School teacher is looking for the perfect match, someone who’s willing to donate their kidney to him.

Robert Dickie has taught social studies at Damascus for 20 years. To DHS students past and present, he’s known as Mr. Dickie.

The thousands of students who have walked through his classroom door won’t forget his smile, laugh, and positive demeanor.

“I think you’re allowed to smile, you’re allowed to laugh, you’re allowed to have some fun as you’re learning,” Dickie said. “I get to teach kids I like, about stuff that interests me, and you’re paying me. How sweet is that?”

If he didn’t tell you, you wouldn’t guess that he has stage 5 chronic kidney disease.

“How you feel on the inside is not what you show on the outside, almost every day all day you feel nauseous. You still gotta smile, because that’s what you’re here for and to teach and to learn and be here for them,” he said.

Dickie is looking for someone willing to donate one of their kidneys.

“I want to keep doing this, this is what I love to do,” Dickie said.

His student aide Sam Gotard said, “He’s really a true inspiration, he comes in everyday smiling, works hard for his students, and is truly passionate about it. Sadly, he’s at a point where he needs another kidney, and if anyone deserves it, he does.”

Every year, Dickie and his sociology class do service projects that help the community, now it’s the community’s turn to help him.

“I’m asking someone to give up a part of them and for some people, in a heartbeat, I would. I hope I’m worth that sacrifice, for the next 15 to 20 years of teaching, I hope I’m worth what you gave me,” Dickie said. “So, I’m looking for someone who can and is willing to. I still have more that I want to give to this and the next generation.”

He believes his health insurance will cover the living donor’s procedure and medical costs.

Anyone willing to see if they’re a potential match should call the Georgetown University Hospital Kidney Transplant Center at 202-444-3701.

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