Someone 2 Know: Amy Camacho
Earlier this week we reported on the importance of organ donations and heard from families whose loved ones gave the ultimate gift. Now we share the story of a teacher from Van Gorder Elementary School in Sparks who was an organ recipient.
Earlier this week we reported on the importance of organ donations and heard from families whose loved ones gave the ultimate gift.
Now we share the story of a teacher from Van Gorder Elementary School in Sparks who was an organ recipient.
Being a teacher is more than just a profession for Amy Camacho - it's a passion. "Yeah, my kids. I don't have any of my own, but the 29 or 30 in my class every day - those, those are my kids,” says Amy with a huge smile.
That's why it was especially frustrating for Amy when her illness slowed her down in the classroom. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 12, Amy developed kidney disease in her mid-thirties.
"It's not ideal,” says Camacho, “But I chose peritoneal dialysis so I could teach every day.”
But Amy’s kidneys were failing, and she was placed on the national organ transplant wait list. The memory is painful for her family, who has been by her side through all of it. Her sister Amanda gets emotional just thinking about it. "She's been sick for a long time, so - that's why this is a huge deal."
After five years, Amy got a pancreas and kidney transplant.
Those lifesaving organs came from 25-year-old Noah Orme who died in April of last year. Last week, Camacho got to meet Noah’s parents for the first time.
There were lots of hugs and plenty of tears. "It was a wonderful day - and a sad day,” says Robin Orme, about meeting the woman who now lives with his son’s organs.
“…and I told her how happy we are for her and how happy we are that she received my son's gift,” says Noah’s mom Gloria Garcia Orme.
That meeting was something Amy had been dreaming of for a year. "They are the kindest people and I feel like I gained a second family," says Camacho.
Amy says she also gained a second chance at life and her new found energy is getting poured right back in to her beloved students. “I can interact with them here, we can go outside and do this, so I can completely be involved with them and be that teacher that I wanna be with them.”
On New Year's Day look for Amy at the 2018 Rose Parade - she will be on the Donate Life float.
To learn more about organ donation or hear the stories of other donors and recipients, check out these organizations;
The easiest way to register as a donor is with your local DMV