Windsor·Video

Students wear green shirts in support of parent donating kidney to 4-year-old

When first graders Hayden and Juno Marchand saw the number of people at their school wearing green in support of their family, they said they felt happy and were proud of their dad. 

School hopes event raises awareness for organ donation

Juno (left) and Hayden (right) Marchand's father, Joe Marchand, donated a kidney Friday. The twins' school wore green in support of Joe and to raise awareness for organ donation. (Submitted by Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Elementary School)

When first graders Hayden and Juno Marchand saw the number of people at their school wearing green in support of their family, they said they felt happy and were proud of their dad. 

On Friday, dozens of students at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Elementary School wore green while the twins' dad Joe Marchand underwent surgery to have his kidney removed and donated to four-year-old Carson Hillier. 

"Joe is such a selfless man that he went for it," said Dawn Marchand, who is Joe's wife. 

But she said the couple also wanted to spare other parents the pain they had experienced. 

In 2019, Marchand said her daughter and Joe's stepdaughter, died from cancer. So when the couple heard about Carson's story on social media, Joe decided to see if he could be a match. 

"We just have a different perspective on a child being sick and we wanted to do something good," she said, adding the outreach from the community has been overwhelming. 

WATCH: Marchand talks about Joe's decision to donate an organ

Community rallies behind Joe Marchand and his family

4 months ago
Duration 2:08
Dawn Marchand, who is Joe's wife, says she's proud of her husband for doing this and hopes it will raise awareness about organ donation.

"To be part of such a loving and supportive place it's wonderful," she said. 

Marchand had first called Hayden and Juno's teacher to see if the class would wear green, to raise awareness. But when the school's principal Anna Mancini heard, she decided to make it a school-wide event. 

"We've also told the teachers if they can talk about organ donation at an age appropriate level with their classes, in the hope that the kids will tell their parents about this and it will bring greater awareness of organ donation to the general public," Mancini said. 

Joe got out of surgery Friday afternoon and the Marchands are waiting to hear how the transplant went for Carson. 

"My heart is so full knowing that my husband is doing this for another one because he was inspired by our situation. I'm just so happy Carson's going to have a full life after this," Marchand said. 

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Joe Marchand is Hayden and Juno Marchand's stepfather. It has been updated to reflect that he is their father.
    Jan 21, 2022 6:40 PM ET

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