English teacher Kayla Losh ’12 never will forget the kindness of her students at Monroe High School. When they found out that her husband, Matt Losh, needed a kidney transplant that was financially out of reach for the young couple, the students started a collection at school. Some gave their lunch money, which was all that they had. The students raised $580 in one afternoon. “Heroes Among Us,” the story of the students’ generosity, appeared in the Jan. 22 issue of People magazine.
“What my students did was overwhelming. We’re still processing it all,” said Kayla. “Many of them come from families who have nothing to give, and they are so selfless. We’re still looking for ways to thank them.”
Matt Losh has IgA nephropathy, known as Berger’s disease, an inflammatory kidney condition that worsened while he was in college. He became seriously ill his senior year and had to withdraw from WCU. The couple eventually moved to Matthews, where he was undergoing home dialysis every day and needed a transplant. Kayla Losh had been tested and approved as the donor. The couple had insurance but faced major out-of-pocket expenses.
As word spread about the collection started by the students, contributions poured in from individuals and families throughout Union County. A fund for the Loshes set up on the nonprofit website HelpHopeLive.org eventually reached $20,000. The successful transplant operation was in December 2014. Since his surgery, Matt Losh has returned to work as a 911 dispatcher.
“He’s doing really well and has a ton of energy,” said Kayla Losh. She also is in good health and continues to teach at the school, where she also serves as the yearbook adviser and junior varsity basketball coach. She recently enrolled in graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.