Nampa teen awaiting lung transplant uses his story to educate classmates

Posted at 5:16 PM, Nov 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-03 19:36:11-04

Fourteen year old Gauge Edwards was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at birth.  Now, he is awaiting a double lung transplant.

Because there is not a transplant team in the Treasure Valley to perform Gauge's surgery in the Treasure Valley, doctors referred the Edwards family to Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.

The Edwards will temporarily relocate to Houston and could be there for up to two years.  After the surgery, doctors will monitor the teen to be sure his body is not rejecting his new lungs.

The costs associated with the procedure could amount to up to $200,000 so when Gauge heard his latest assignment for speech class, he drew inspiration from his own experience to educate his classmates at Ridgevue High School about CF.

Gauge's teacher, Kristen Drew, assigned her students a speech featuring a current news story.  Gauge used the story 6 On Your Side aired.

"She wanted to do a news story on me because I'm going through something that has not happened in the valley yet," Gauge told his classmates.

He used the remainder of the time to inform the class about his medical condition and the challenges he will face, even after surgery.

"So whenever you get a splinter, your body sends a bunch of white blood cells to fight it.  Here, the lungs are the splinter," Gauge said of the possibility of rejection of the transplanted lungs.

The teen wrapped up his speech with a round of applause from his classmates, some who whispered as Gauge took his seat, that they weren't aware of Gauge's fight.

The family does have a Go Fund Me page set up to help with the monumental costs associated with transplant surgery and a temporary move to Houston.