It was just the other day when Dorothy asked me: “How many people do we know who are waiting for kidney transplants?”
We quickly came up with seven . . . and you can bet there are more than that, with some people just not comfortable talking about it or spending time with those of us involved with the Kamloops Kidney Support Group — although the pandemic has forced us to lay low for a bit.
Anyway . . . our group of seven includes Ferris Backmeyer, 3, of Kamloops and Zach Tremblay, 17, of Robson, B.C. No, kidney disease doesn’t discriminate by age.
And from the moment a person is diagnosed with kidney disease, it is a waiting game. You wait until you need dialysis to keep you going. You wait until you find out whether you are a candidate for a transplant. Then you wait some more, hoping all the time that there will be a transplant in your future. If everything works out, you find yourself awaiting a phone call.
Well . . . there was some excitement in our home a few days ago because a friend has been declared an “excellent candidate” for a transplant and now is on the active list awaiting a deceased donor. That means the waiting has taken on a new edge.
Now he and his wife, their bags packed for a stay in Vancouver, wait and hope for a phone call. “We are on pins and needles,” he told us.
Unfortunately, as is so often the case, someone will have to die before that phone call comes. But that is the other side of an organ transplant when it is to involve a deceased donor.
Until recently, the transplant process had been slowed by the pandemic. But it seems things now are starting to pick up again. That, of course, is good news, especially for those who are waiting and hoping.
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
Toll free: 1-877-922-9822
Obviously, the figures in the tweet/story below are from the U.S., but they do show some encouraging news for people who are awaiting an organ transplant. . . .
The information in the story linked to from the following tweet is based on the United States’ system, but there is a lot here that is relevant in Canada, too.