The kidney community in Kamloops has lost two prominent members, both of whom had transplants in their past, to COVID-19.
Stan Bailly, a long-time musician and much-loved radio personality and DJ, died on Saturday after a four-month battle.
Dale Calibaba, who once biked across Canada wanting to raise awareness of kidney disease and organ donation, died on Nov. 26. He was 53.
Bailly, who was from Kamloops, retired in October 2018, ending a radio career
that began in Williams Lake, B.C., in 1968. He had been back in his hometown at CIFM since 1987.
Bailly also owned Stan Bailly DJ Services in Kamloops and had played a whole lot of weddings in the area.
He had undergone two kidney transplants, both involving live donors. The first one failed, but he underwent a second about a year later and this kidney, from a sister-in-law, worked just fine.
“I am so blessed!,” he wrote on Facebook in April 2020, 19 years after the second transplant. “It gave me an appreciation for family and life. “Sometimes the hardest things can become the best things!”
Earl Seitz, the long-time sports director at CFJC-TV in Kamloops, worked with Bailly for years. Seitz posted on Facebook:
“Stan Bailly was a cherished friend, broadcast colleague for close to 48 years, and most of all just a great person. He will be missed immensely by (his wife) Debbie, family and his many, many friends. Being a small part of the CIFM mornings with Stan and Henry (Small) for many years are among my most cherished memories.”
Seitz is retiring at the end of this month.
Tara Holmes, another long-time radio friend, posted:
“He hated Trump
“He respected Covid
“He loved his wife, kids, and family
“He was grateful for his kidney donation
“He had a hoot DJ’ing weddings and events
“He enjoyed socializing
“He always had a shit-eating grin on his face!
“He loved his co-host Henry Small
“When I saw the disrespectful protest outside of Royal Inland Hospital while this man was fighting for his life I was disgusted. When I hear people say ‘Oh well, if they are compromised they will die anyway’ it infuriates me. Stan had a lot of life left to live.”
On Saturday afternoon, Danielle Bailly, Stan’s daughter, began a Facebook post with . . .
“It is with the most profound sadness and intense grief I just need to let you know my dad Stan Bailly passed away peacefully today.
“He was the kindest man and fought so hard. I am so very proud to be his daughter and to have had all this time with him. God, this is so hard. I didn’t know my heart could shatter this much.”
Meanwhile, according to an obituary, Calibaba died on Nov. 26 “in the ICU at Royal Inland Hospital . . . after his month-long fight with COVID-19.”
Calibaba was born with Alport Syndrome, a genetic disorder that necessitated a kidney transplant at the age of 19, a couple of years after his kidneys began to fail.
That first transplant was good for 18 years, but the ‘new’ kidney started having issues in 2005 and it wasn’t long before he was back doing dialysis.
In 2015, despite being in need of another kidney, Calibaba decided that he wanted to bike across Canada — east to west — because he had a desire to shine a spotlight on what people with kidney disease went through.
He started on June 1, 2015, in St. John’s, Nfld., and hoped to finish in Victoria on Sept. 4.
All the while he was doing peritoneal dialysis, meaning that he hooked up to a cycler every night and allowed those treatments to remove the toxins from his system, a job normally handled by healthy kidneys.
However, he developed a catheter-related infection and had to pause the ride in order to allow it to heal. At that point, he had been riding for 85 days and had covered about 6,600 km.
While he was at home in Kamloops, he got THE phone call.
“It was almost surreal because I was on hold on the (transplant) wait list,” Calibaba told Adam Donnelly of CFJC-TV in June 2017 while preparing to resume his cross-country ride. “When I received a phone call to come down to Vancouver, that they had a kidney for me, I wasn’t believing it at first, because I thought when you’re on hold, you won’t get a call.”
He underwent that second transplant, got healthy enough to resume his ride, and away he went, completing the ride in Victoria later that summer.
A complete obituary is right here.
The story of Calgary’s Jenna Ursu is one that hits awfully close to home and absolutely breaks my heart. Why? Because this could have been my wife, Dorothy. . . . Jenna’s health has gone downhill since she was diagnosed with Stage 5 kidney disease a year ago. She’s 30 now, a married mother of two young children, and needs a kidney. But these days the wait list in Alberta isn’t moving at all quickly for her, even though her sister, Whitney, has been deemed a potential living donor and has gone through all the tests. . . . Jenna’s husband, Kyle, told Jordan Kanygin of CTV News in Calgary: ”My wife’s health has basically gotten to the point where she won’t survive a kidney transplant because of the delay due to COVID. It’s very hard. I feel like the health care system has let my family down and I just have zero faith in it. I feel like we were put to the back burner over and over and over again.” . . . The complete story is right here.
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
Vancouver General Hospital Living Donor Program – Kidney
Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre
Level 5, 2775 Laurel Street
Vancouver, BC V5Z 1M9
604-875-5182 or 1-855-875-5182
Or, for more information, visit right here.
Want an easy win to feel great? Register to be an organ donor today. It will only #TakeTwoMinutes and you could save a life. Great deed and fuzzy feels without any hassle. #Register2Give taketwominutes.ca