Kamloops woman looks for kidney as CIHI reports transplants are up but people are dying on waiting lists

Chad Klassen of CFJC-TV stopped by our home on Thursday as he worked on a story involving local reaction to a report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Chad spoke with Dorothy, my wife who had a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013. As you will see by watching his story right here, he also chatted with Julie Dodds of Kamloops.

Julie has a genetic kidney disease — Medullary Kidney Disease Type 1 — and has reached Stage 4 kidney failure. She needs a kidney and is hoping to get one before she has to go on dialysis.

I told her story right here early in August.


The Canadian Institute for Health Information issued a report on Thursday that indicates there were 2,782 organ transplants performed in Canada in 2018.

According to the report, which showed a 33 per cent increase in transplants since 2009, the first of 10 years covered here:

“At the end of 2018, there were 4,351 people on wait lists for organ transplants (2,890 active and 1,461 on hold). Additionally, 223 people died that year while on a wait list for an organ transplant.

“The increased need for organ transplantation is in part being driven by the rising rate of Canadians living with end-stage kidney disease, which went up 32 per cent over the 10 years studied.”

Greg Webster, the CIHI’s director of acute and ambulatory care information services, pointed out that “more than 4,000 Canadians are still on a waiting list for a transplant, and many die each year while waiting.

“We know that organ transplants save lives. For most organs, patient survival is greater than 80 per cent after five years.”

Also from the report: “(In 2018), there were 555 living donors (people who donated a kidney or a lobe of liver) and 762 deceased donors in Canada. The number of deceased donors increased by 56 per cent between 2009 and 2018, whereas the number of living donors remained stable.”

Some highlights from the report:

Kidneys (1,706) and livers (533) were the top organs transplanted, followed by lungs (361), hearts (189) and pancreases (57).

As of Dec. 31, 2018, more patients were on wait lists for kidneys (3,150) and livers (527), compared with lungs (270), hearts (157) and pancreases (156).

Of the 762 deceased organ donors, 60 per cent were male. Of the 555 living organ donors, 63 per cent were female.

For deceased donors, the average number of organs used for transplantation was three for all donors and 4 for donors ages 39 and younger.

The complete report is available right here.

Roberts loving her new life after transplant . . . Cypress’ new kidney “doing incredibly well” . . .

Have you ever wondered what life is like for a child before and after a kidney transplant?

Kathleen Roberts knows all about it; she’s 19 now and had a transplant four years ago at BC Children’s Hospital.

“Before the transplant,” she says, “I was going to BC Children’s every few months. I was just sick. I slept 16 to 18 hours a day. I had no appetite. I was 82 pounds and five feet tall. I was severely underweight and severely nauseous. The transplant made a huge difference. I have a normal appetite and I’m not sleeping the day away anymore.”

Take a few minutes and read her story, which is right here.

Cypress Roed, an eight-year-old from Harrison Hot Springs, B.C., continues to make progress after undergoing a kidney transplant on Oct. 24 at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Her mother, Chantelle Deley, told me in an email earlier this week that “Cypress is doing well for the most part. She is finally in remission!”

Early on, Cypress had been diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, something that damages the kidneys and prevents the filtering of protein from the urine.

The recovery process hasn’t been without a speed bump or two, the latest of which has been having to deal with migraines. Cypress was back in hospital late last week because the migraines were causing severe nausea.

But, as Chantelle wrote,“she is in remission and that’s a major positive.”

It’s important to note that the new kidney “is doing incredibly well.”

“She is amazingly strong,” Chantelle said of her daughter.

Dorothy, my wife, had some health issues six weeks or so after her transplant and spent most of December 2013 in hospital dealing with them. But, as with Cypress, the new kidney just kept doing its job. Hopefully, that continues with Cypress, who is preparing to spend her third straight Christmas away from home.

Cypress is to turn nine on Jan. 22. Her dream has been to celebrate by going swimming. Here’s hoping she is able to make a big splash.

This was posted on a blog called Andrew Kai’s Adventure in Liverland. It was written by his mother:

“I wrote this in the waiting room after Kai coded. They brought him back 3 times before rushing him to the operating room. The plan was to open him up and remove the bad liver to buy him some time. The new liver was only 4 hours away. He had held on at the top of the list for 2 days. He was first in line for a liver and didn’t get one in time.

“I really believed he would make it. I pushed all the doubts out. I kept saying this over and over to myself, I knew my baby was strong and I had to believe for him.”

The post included a photo of a note on which was written:

“Pieces of me are in you

“Pieces of you are in me

“I am here

“You are here

“Kai will live!!!!”

Below the note was a small stone with a heart etched into it.

Kai’s mother continued:

“The heart stone is what they gave to me, and one to him, so that we would have something to connect us when I had to say goodbye the last time. I placed it over his heart and I haven’t put my stone down since I left him.

“HE WOULD HAVE LIVED IF HE HAD A NEW LIVER. Even if it had been just a few hours earlier.


Andrew Kai George was born on April 23, 2019. Without a new liver, he died on Dec. 2, 2019, in Indianapolis, Ind.

A little Smoke Eaters’ history from the Kamloops Kidney Christmas Luncheon . . .

The annual Christmas luncheon that is prepared by volunteers from the Kamloops Chapter of the B.C. and Yukon Branch of the Kidney Foundation of Canada always is a lot of fun. That is, of course, because of the people you meet there.

Take Sunday at the Heritage House, for example.

I was presented with the opportunity to chat with Barb Haight-Smith and her husband, Ed Smith. Well, to be honest, Barb did most of the talking, and what a story she told. Her father, Jimmy Haight, played for one of the most-famous Canadian hockey teams of all time — the 1938-39 Trail Smoke Eaters.

Born in Humboldt, Sask., Jimmy came out of the Saskatoon junior ranks to join the Nelson Maple Leafs. Rather than turn pro, he then moved over to Trail after Cominco put him to work, which also allowed him to play for the 1937-38  Smoke Eaters, who won the Savage Cup as B.C. champions, the Paton Cup as Western Canadian kings, and the Allan Cup as Canadian champs.

In 1938-39, the Smoke Eaters took the hockey world by storm as the won the World championship. They arrived in Europe in early December and spent a couple of months touring. Before they were done over there, they played 55 games, winning 53 times, losing once and recording one tie.

The 10-day World championship was played in Basel and Zurich, Switzerland. The Smokies opened by beating the Netherlands, 8-0, and Poland, 4-0. In the second round, they took out Britain, 4-0, and Germany, 9-0. Then they dumped Switzerland, 7-0, before more than 16,000 fans. Trail wrapped up the title with a 4-1 victory over Czechoslovakia and a 4-0 blanking of the United States.

In his final years, Barb and Ed cared for her father in Kamloops, where he died on April 15, 2009. Jimmy Haight, a World champion, was 95.

What follows are more photos from the luncheon at the Heritage House, all of them from the camera of Murray Mitchell of Murray Mitchell Photography.

Dennis Purcha stopped by for a pre-Christmas visit with Lucy Ross.
No, Rick Oviatt didn’t come dressed up as Santa Claus, but he looks to be halfway there with the beard. The smile tells you that he was enjoying himself, as we all were.
Rita and Ron Wright got in a quick snuggle just before getting called to the buffet table.
Tammy La Forge and Randy McDuffee were quick to smile for the camera. Yes, they had a grand time.
Heather Moore (left), Lynne Moyer, Samhita and Sushma Kaluvakoluna, and Barb Haight-Smith and Ed Smith were among those in attendance. Barb’s father, Jimmy, played for the Trail Smoke Eaters, who won the 1939 World hockey championship. He also was part of the 1938 Allan Cup winning team.
Samhita Kaluvakoluna had a warm welcoming hug for Santa Claus while her mother, Sushma, grabbed a photo.
Santa made sure to stop off and visit with Heather Moore and Lynne Moyer.

A good time was had by all at the annual Kamloops Kidney Christmas Luncheon

Christmas arrived at the Heritage House in Kamloops on Sunday afternoon as the Kamloops Chapter of the B.C. and Yukon Branch of the Kidney Foundation of Canada held its annual luncheon.

Every year, volunteers with the chapter prepare and serve a pre-Christmas turkey lunch to dialysis patients and transplant recipients along with their guests.

This year’s luncheon was played host to by Larry Read, the sports information officer at Thompson Rivers University. He also is the emcee for Kamloops’ annual Kidney Walk, another event that is organized by the local chapter. The 2020 Kidney Walk is scheduled for Sept. 20 at McDonald Park, so you can put that on your calendar.

And, on Sunday, the inimitable Jesse Jones, who teaches at Lee’s Music in Kamloops, joined us, as he always does, to provide the tunes of the season.

Murray Mitchell, the Kamloops’ chapter’s official photographer, also was there. A long-time photographer with the late Kamloops Daily News, he took the photos that appear here. He now operates Murray Mitchell Photography — murraymitchell.ca — right here in Kamloops.

Georgia and Ted O’Hara took time for their annual visit with Santa. Ted’s chin looks like he may have his eye on helping out next year.
This isn’t the Three Tenors. No, it isn’t! Jesse Jones (left) was at the keyboard and on vocals, with Larry Read on the microphone as the emcee, and Gregg Drinnan was there trying to keep track of numbers during the prize draws. Jesse and some of his students will be performing at the Sahali Mall on Dec. 14, starting at 11:30 a.m. If you drop by, be sure to say hi to Jesse and tell him Gregg sent you.
By the look of things, Santa had a funny story for Marianne Janzen of Kamloops (right) and her sister, Janette Schlamp, who is from Swift Current.
Leona Backman (left), Dorothy Drinnan, Marianne LeFluffy, Karla Ramsay and Edna Humphreys, all of them volunteers, are lined up at the buffet table and waiting for the rush.
There was lots of conversation at this table as, from left, Georgia and Ted O’Hara, Marianne and Bob Janzen, and Norm and Evelyn Naylor told Christmas tales.
Things were humming in the kitchen as volunteers Joe Amyott, Marianne LeFluffy, Diana Tesic-Nagalingam and Faith Moyer were busy preparing the meal.
Jared and Heather Provost brought along their son, Leland, who was especially excited as he awaited the arrival of the guy in the red suit.
Colleen Bruce and her husband, Vic Morin, also managed to have a visit with Santa.
When it was all over for another year, Edna Humphreys (left) and Dorothy Drinnan, two of the hard-working volunteers, took a break with Santa Claus before he headed north to continue preparations for the big, big day.

Check back shortly for more from Murray Mitchell Photography from the annual Kidney Christmas Luncheon.


Got a car you would like to donate to a good cause? . . . B.C. Children’s Hospital has reason to celebrate

Are you aware that you can donate your car, truck or boat to benefit people in Canada who are living with kidney disease?

Seriously. You are able to do that.

From kidney.ca: “We take vehicles of any age or condition! Vehicles donated to Kidney Car can be recycled or sold, depending on the region. If you have an old, broken down vehicle in your driveway or garage that you need to get rid of, call Kidney Car today!”

As it says on the site, “You’ll get a FREE tow, tax receipt and the great feeling that you’ve helped the environment and people living with kidney disease across Canada.”

If you are interested, check right here to see if the program is available in your area. If you are wanting more information, it’s all available right here, including an online donation form.

Say “hello” to Jeremy Wikkerink, the recipient of the 300th kidney transplant at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. Jeremy, 5, is from Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island and had been doing dialysis for as much as 12 hours per day before the transplant.

Mondays With Murray: Baseball is Erasing History

It’s Giving Tuesday on Dec. 3. Facebook and PayPal will match donations made on this day starting at 5 a.m. PST and ending when their $7 million in guaranteed donations runs out. Please consider making a donation via our Facebook Page or our PayPal Giving Fund Page. Every little bit helps and even more since it’s being matched by Facebook and PayPal.

Last weekend, for the first time in 35 years, the NFL suspended a player for betting on NFL games. CB Josh Shaw of the Arizona Cardinals won’t be eligible to petition for reinstatement until Feb. 15, 2021.

This got us thinking about another player who was caught betting on his sport . . . Pete Rose. The big difference is Shaw, unlike Rose, will be able to petition to get back in the game. Rose was never offered that luxury but rather was banned from baseball, and his inevitable induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, for life.

Maybe now, after 30 years (Rose was banned in August 1989), MLB will consider lifting his ban and letting the all-time hits leader into the hall that should have a wing named after him.

Please enjoy Jim Murray’s 1991 column headlined “Baseball Is Erasing History” about Rose’s many accomplishments that will go unrecognized in Cooperstown.


January 13, 1991, SPORTS



Baseball Is Erasing History

  Pete Rose never got 4,256 hits. Pete Rose never got 746 doubles. Pete Rose never played in 3,562 big league baseball games. Pete Rose never played in six World Series, seven playoffs.

 Pete Rose never slid head first into home plate, scattering the catcher and the ball as he went. Pete Rose never ran out a base on balls.

  There’s no such person. Pete Rose never existed. He is a non-person. He is like one of those Soviet despots they expunge from the history books.

 Pete Rose never paced a dugout with that funny little gap-toothed grin, waving his mondaysmurray2Popeye arms and explaining with gestures and rolling slides in the dirt exactly how the game should be played.

  Pete Rose never played the game for 24 years with the little boy’s zeal and wonder until, if you closed your eyes, you could picture him with his cap on sideways, knickers falling down to his ankles and dragging a taped ball and busted bat behind him, looking for all the world like something that fell off Norman Rockwell’s easel.

  Must have been some other guy. Because Pete Rose ceased to exist on Thursday. He was erased from society by a group of judges they must have found in Salem.

 What are they trying to tell us? There was no Charlie Hustle? There was no swaggering, pixieish No. 14 who for two decades filled notebooks and headlines and seemed to epitomize all that was fine and right with the grand old game?

  There was no guy who spoke up for baseball and promoted it all he could, who never hid in the trainer’s room or ducked out a side door in defeat, who never just took the money and ran?

  There was no guy who, when the World Series in Boston was rained out four days out of five, came dutifully to a news conference to keep the scribes in print and the Series, which was to become one of the greatest ever played, alive?

  There was no such guy as the Reds’ third baseman in that Series who turned to a base runner from the other team and said, “Ain’t this great? Ain’t this fun?”

  Pete Rose was a figment of our imagination? He was a cartoon character like Yogi Bear?

  We’re supposed to forget he was ever real? We’re supposed to expunge all his records? Banish him to a corner of the sports world inhabited only by the Black Sox of 1919 and one or two other non-persons in the game?

 Get outta here! What for? Because he had a gambling addiction? Because he couldn’t pass a bookie parlor or a 9-5 shot or the overs-and-unders on the Bears’ games without wagering a few bob?

  What about the guys who had other addictions? The crowd that got caught in the cocaine busts in Pittsburgh? Hey, Babe Ruth had an addiction, too. He liked rye whiskey. And that was as illegal as cocaine in his time.

  I wish we could get some of those judges who voted to take Pete out of circulation to sit in on rape trails once in a while. I wish they could serve on some of those appellate court benches where they throw a serial killer’s conviction out because the cop interrogating him forgot to call him “sir” or didn’t have a warrant to take his knife away from him.

  I wish I could figure out why guys who kill eight nurses in five states get people holding candle vigils outside their prison cells while Pete Rose gets the book thrown at him.

  Do you want to stand there and tell me Pete Rose wasn’t good for baseball? Lord, he was baseball. He’s a menace to the game? Gimme a break!

  I’m a law-and-order man myself. I’ve been known to deplore the fact that society has lost its capacity for indignation, has shrunk from punishing its criminals.

  And I completely understand that you hold the highly successful to a different set of standards than the less privileged. You want to kick a president out for hushing up a robbery, that’s OK with me.

  But hey! Pete Rose didn’t go to Harvard. Pete Rose never took prelaw. Stop and think about it, Pete made a living in an industry where it’s not only all right to steal, it’s expected of you.

  Pete never discussed Stendhal. Pete never went to the opera. You don’t take Pete to Buckingham Palace. Pete played baseball for a living. It was probably that or mow lawns.

 A lot of people have sympathy for Shoeless Joe Jackson. He was even the hero of a movie, for cryin’ out loud!

  But wait a minute! Shoeless Joe Jackson was a crook. He was an accessory before the fact. He was part of a conspiracy to throw the World Series, no less. That’s major league trifling with the faith of a nation. Whether he threw the Series or not is beside the point. He agreed to do it. His silence made him a co-conspirator.

 If Pete threw ball games, why don’t they tell us about it? Why don’t they prove it? Ax murderers get a better day in court than he did.

  He couldn’t have thrown any World Series. His team won three of the six he appeared in.

  Oh, he cheated on his income tax? He didn’t declare some income he earned?

  Noooo! Who could believe a person would do that? Try to pay as little as they could to the government?

  He didn’t fill ballparks for all those years. He didn’t have the dirtiest uniform in the National League. He didn’t wisecrack around the batting cage each spring: “I’ll tell you three things gonna happen this summer — the grass gonna get green, the sun’s gonna get hot and Pete Rose is gonna get 200 hits.” He’d like to tell you: “I may not be the best hitter on this club, but I’m the best white hitter!”

 But he never did those things. They never happened. He never happened. Ty Cobb’s the only guy in history who ever got more than 4,000 hits. They’re going to take Pete Rose away.

  I don’t know about you, but I’m going to miss him.


Reprinted with the permission of the Los Angeles Times

Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 60753, Pasadena, CA 91116


What is the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation? 

  The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, established in 1999 to perpetuate the Jim Murray legacy, and his love for and dedication to his extraordinary career in journalism. Since 1999, JMMF has granted 104 $5,000 scholarships to outstanding journalism students. Success of the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation’s efforts depends heavily on the contributions from generous individuals, organizations, corporations, and volunteers who align themselves with the mission and values of the JMMF.

Like us on Facebook, and visit the JMMF website, www.jimmurrayfoundation.org.


A dozen years ago, Linda McCoy-Murray compiled a book of Jim Murray’s columns on female athletes (1961-1998). While the book is idle waiting for an interested publisher, the JMMF thinks this is an appropriate year to get the book on the shelves, i.e., Jim Murray’s 100th birthday, 1919-2019.  

Our mission is to empower women of all ages to succeed and prosper — in and out of sports — while entertaining the reader with Jim Murray’s wit and hyperbole.  An excellent teaching tool for Women’s Studies.

Proceeds from book sales will benefit the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing sports journalism scholarships at universities across the country.

Scattershooting on a Sunday night while contemplating greatness of Ken Dryden’s latest book . . .


Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times: “If any good can come from the events that led to Bill Peters’ resignation Friday as (head) coach of the Calgary Flames . . . it will be to launch discussions about what constitutes appropriate behavior for coaches at every level in hockey, and beyond. Start with this: Anyone who resorts to physical or verbal abuse to convey a message is a coward and doesn’t deserve the honor of being called ‘coach’.”

There are a lot of parents who send their teenagers off to hockey academies, while other adults shake their heads and wonder: “Why?” . . . Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week granted anonymity to the parents of eight such players and the results are right here. It’s worth your time; it’s also enlightening, scary and food for thought, especially the apparent lack of trust in those responsible for minor hockey.

People inside the WHL have long said that a 15-year-old player is allowed to get into five games per season so long as his club team’s season is ongoing. Unless, of course, there are emergency circumstances involved. I note that highly touted F Matt Savoie, 15, played in his sixth game of the season for the Winnipeg Ice on Saturday night. I would suggest the over-under for his first season with the Ice is 20 GP. Hey, Hockey Canada, what say you? . . . BTW, Savoie has one assist in his first six WHL games.

Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times makes a valid point: “Not that football needs another rule or anything, but any player who goes nutso celebrating a first down, a touchdown or a turnover — when his team is trailing by three or more scores — should get flagged 15 yards for stupidity.”

Patrick Beverley, a guard with the Chicago Bulls, grew up in West Chicago. “Coming from where I come from,” he told ESPN, “I didn’t have the luxury of having a trust fund. Or money from generations. Or the luxury of hoppin’ into the family business, you know? It’s either hoop or you sell dope.”

If you don’t have Ken Dryden’s latest book — Scotty: A Hockey Life Like No Other — on your Christmas list I would suggest you get it on there ASAP. If you are a hockey fan, this is a book like no other. I couldn’t wait until Christmas to get my hands on a copy, and I haven’t been disappointed. Yes, it’s about Scotty Bowman, but it’s so much more than a book about one man. No binge reading with this one; it’s one chapter at a time in the hopes that I can make it last and last.

Here’s Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, writing about the sign-stealing scandal in baseball: “Is baseball the stupidest sport? Bad question. It’s not even close. Only in baseball, this kind of thinking: ‘I’ve got an idea. We steal signals from opposing catchers with a spy cam. Nobody will know, except all 25 of our players, the manager and coaches, bat boys, the camera crew, and people we tell in bars when we’ve had too many, so it will be easy to keep it a secret, as long as none of those people have a conscience or character. Nobody on the outside will ever bust us, unless they have ears or look at a box score. We could win some games, and the only downside is that if we get caught, we’ll all be branded cheaters, liars and losers forever. Let’s do it!’ ”

There have been whispers that when Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones makes a coaching change, the new guy will be Urban Meyer. As Bob Molinaro scribbled in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot: “Can we look forward to the Urban Cowboy? The headline is too good to go to waste.”

How badly were the New England Patriots exposed during Sunday’s 28-22 loss to the Texans in Houston, which was far worse than the score would seem to indicate? Is it something that a wide receiver capable of beating man coverage could cure? No, I didn’t think so either. . . . But you were sad — really sad — to see the Patriots lose, weren’t you?

Derek Boogard, 28, died on May 31, 2011, of an accidental overdose after mixing prescription painkillers with alcohol. . . . Rick Rypien was 27 when he committed suicide on Aug. 15, 2011. . . . Wade Belak was 35 when he committed suicide on Aug. 31, 2011. . . . Todd Ewen, 49, committed suicide on Sept. 29, 2015. . . . All four were NHL enforcers. All four also were WHL enforcers. . . . After death, all four were found to have had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). . . . Still, the WHL continues to condone fighting; in fact, the Brandon Wheat Kings and host Winnipeg Ice were involved in a line brawl on Saturday night. . . . If you haven’t seen it, Virginia Smart and Lisa Ellenwood of CBC News have a story right here and there is a link in the story to a piece by The Fifth Estate. It focuses on Belak and it’s scary.