Cypress Roed of Harrison Hot Springs, B.C., is preparing to spend her third straight Christmas in Vancouver.
This one, though, will be different.
While she spent the first two of those holidays in hospital because she was ill, this time she will be healing and looking forward to a bright future.
That’s because Roed, an eight-year-old Grade 3 student, entered hospital on Monday as preparations began for a kidney transplant that is scheduled for Thursday (Oct. 24).
“Cypress has focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a disease that caused a scarring of her kidneys, preventing them from filtering protein from her urine,” Grace Kennedy wrote in the Agassiz-Harrison Observer. “The disease required that Cypress’s kidneys be removed, and now she is on dialysis and is a frequent visitor at BC Children’s Hospital.”
(Kennedy’s story is right here.)
Cypress had been on the transplant list in hopes a deceased donor match would be found. Then the news came in September that a match had been found through the Living Donor Paired Exchange Program.
“I felt guilty when we were on the deceased donor list, because you’re waiting for another family member of somebody to pass away so my child can survive,” Chantelle Deley, Cypress’s mother, said earlier this month. “But when we got a call that there’s a live donor, it kind of filled that guilt with gratitude.
“Before, I kept going to pack the hospital bags, and I would stop. I just couldn’t do it. And now they’re all packed and they’re ready to go.”
There is another side to stories like these, too, one that often is if not forgotten, certainly overlooked. That is the impact on family members.
As Deley told Kennedy, a lot of people “don’t realize the ripple effects and the trickles that an illness like this . . . has on families.”
Not only is Deley dealing with having to be in Vancouver, but she also has to keep the family home in Harrison Hot Springs afloat, something that became harder after she and Cypress’s father recently separated.
Friends suggested that Deley set up a GoFundMe page, and she has done that, although it wasn’t easy.
“I have a hard time reaching out,” Deley told Kennedy. “It’s pride. You want to do it yourself, take care of your kids yourself. But at this point, I can’t. So I’m reaching out for support and help so I can focus on her.
“It was a bit emotional. Before we got this call, I was thinking about putting off transplant so I could work. It’s not an option now. It’s not something we can put off anymore . . . it’s something she needs.”
If you are able to help, the GoFundMe Page is right here.
And while you’re out and about on Thursday, take a moment and have a thought for Cypress.