LACROSSE | LaCrosse High School is rallying behind one of its students to receive a kidney from her father after nearly dying.
Amy Bullert, 17, nearly a year ago contracted IGA nephropathy, a virus that caused her kidneys to shut down.
The inability of her kidneys to function properly led to congestive heart failure, a condition that is now improving since she was put on dialysis, said her mother, Lisa Bullert.
Her high school classmates for over a week now have been engaged in a penny war.
The class that donates the most pennies will get a prize, "probably ice-cream," said Marzena Dziura, an English teacher at the school and sponsor of the student council, which stepped into action to financially help Amy and her family.
A benefit pulled pork dinner is also planned for 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the school, 11 Michigan St., with live music included during the event.
"We have a wonderful community," said Lisa.
Lisa said her daughter was on a ventilator at Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis for 17 days after being first admitted last May.
She has since recovered enough to attend school two days a week and makes up for her absences by doing classwork online while maintaining a B average, said Lisa Bullert.
"She's an amazing kid," Lisa said.
When she is not at school, Amy is having her 8 to 10 hours of kidney dialysis performed at a hospital in Knox.
She had to switch from at-home kidney dialysis because of complications.
Lisa said the fundraisers by the school will help offset the cost of her husband taking 10 weeks off from his job at W. Kendall & Sons to to donate one of his kidneys to his daughter and recover from the operation at Riley Children's Hospital along with travel expenses.
The goal is to have enough money in hand so the transplant can be performed in June.
Lisa said her daughter is not quite back to normal but has come a long way in her recovery from the virus.
"She's still up and active and trying to get through it. She just kind of takes it in stride and tries to be as normal as possible," she said.