A 15-year-old Central Huron Secondary School student was singled out by his teachers when a request came from a Huron County family desperate for someone to help them.
Graham Nesbitt, of Huron East, had exhausted his sources when it came to finding a kidney donor needed to save his life.
Leaning on the community for help, he appealed to the high school to create a video so he could explain his story and hopefully find a donor.
Morden Baker, a Grade 10 student, took on the project.
“I have no relations to the family,” said Baker. “I’d never even heard of the family before they approached CHSS and asked us to use the com tech department.”
Once the video was released, the phone calls started coming in. There were multiple offers of a kidney, providing Nesbitt was a match.
“I’ve had a number of people who called and asked a question about the process, and I’ve called and pointed them in the direction,” said Nesbitt. “At least five or six people have called to offer a kidney, and more have called me about donating a kidney, and even more people have been calling in asking questions and showing interest.”
Teacher Jacqui Vercruyssen approached Baker and floated the idea of allowing him to undertake this project in exchange for crediting the project as schoolwork and allowing him to be exempt from regular classes.
“It was a little bit of a surprise since the project is so big with so much weight on it, but overall I think it gave me a bit of a challenge to do a slideshow of somebody’s life,” said Baker.
The video, which contains a series of photos of Nesbitt through his life, features a voice-over from son Joseph Nesbitt who explains the impact his father has had on not only his life but the lives of everyone he has touched in their community.
The photos are a mixture of the Nesbitt family growing up and the memorable interactions they have had within the community as they search for a donor.
Nesbitt has been an active member within the Huron East community and has spent nearly two decades ensuring the Seaforth Community Complex is maintained and open for kids to play hockey.
He added that since coming to Central Huron in 1985 the community has received him with open arms and allowed for he and his family to make the community a special place to call home.
“The young lad did a fantastic job – I don’t know him – but kudos to him,” said Nesbitt. “I heard he does well in school and I hope one day I can talk to him and thank him since he did a great job.”
Beginning in September, the video project was over a month in the making. Baker worked closely with the Nesbitt family to ensure the emotional aspects of the video were highlighted.
From recording the voice-overs to filming the family, Baker worked throughout his class and even at home to ensure the final product was something that would potentially save a life.
“We’re very lucky to have the learning facility and the capability at our school where we can give access to these incredible students to allow for their creativity and hard work to produce these projects,” said Vercruyssen.