Gillis: We “are so inspired by Zach’s heroic spirit” . . . Team to play final two games in Zach’s honour

Stephen Gillis, a Vancouver minor hockey coach who is scheduled for a kidney transplant this month, and some team members visit with Zach Tremblay in Vancouver’s Ronald McDonald House on Friday. (Photo: Jana Tremblay/Facebook)

You may be familiar with the story of Stephen Gillis, a minor hockey coach in Vancouver who has kidney disease.

Gillis is scheduled to undergo a kidney transplant at some point this month, with a friend, Michael Teigen, as the donor. (Their story is right here.)

On Friday, Gillis and some players and parents from his team — an Atom A1 team from the Vancouver Minor Hockey Association — were at Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver to visit Zach Tremblay, the 16-year-old from Robson, B.C., who is in need of a kidney transplant.

The team brought a few gifts for Zach, and Gillis also announced that the team is playing its final two regular-season games this weekend in Zach’s honour. Zach and his mother, Jana, planned to attend both games.

Later, Gillis posted on Facebook:

”Like myself, Zach is an O Negative blood type and is need of a kidney donation. Born with kidney issues and not supposed to make it past the age of two, this warrior is now 16 years old! However, in order to clean his blood Zach has been on PD (peritoneal) dialysis since he was 10 and recently started hemodialysis, like I do, three times a week.

“At 16, this is the last thing Zach and his family should have to go through after being through so much. We need to find him a kidney donor, through paired exchange or direct match, and NEED YOUR HELP! Please share this post and Zach’s story with your network.

“To get tested to be a donor for Zach, contact the St. Paul’s Living Donor program (1-877-955-1755, email

“I am so grateful to have found a heroic donor in Michael, and for all your help in making it happen. Let’s send that same energy to Zach and his family and find him a donor! You’re a warrior Zach, never give up!!!

Many thanks to Real Hip Clothing and freshii on Granville for providing some gifts for Zach.”

After Friday’s visit was over, Gillis told Jana Tremblay, via Facebook, that “our players, parents, and myself are so inspired by Zach’s heroic spirit on his journey. His ‘never give up attitude’ is what our players strive for and he exemplifies it daily. What an amazing young man!

“Zach is a true hero and we are going to continue to do what we can to help him find a light at the end of this long road.”


If you are interested in being a living kidney donor, more information is available here:

Living Kidney Donor Program

St. Paul’s Hospital

6A Providence Building

1081 Burrard Street

Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6

Tel: 604-806-9027

Toll free: 1-877-922-9822

Fax: 604-806-9873



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