John’s making case to come home; he’s crowing about it, too . . . Rear-window decal finds two potential living donors in Kamloops

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Is this photo taken by John Casey a National Geographic-calibre shot, or what? The owlet on the right looking at John upside down really is something.

John Casey, a friend from the Kamloops Kidney Support Group, continues to recover in Vancouver after having had a kidney transplant at Vancouver General Hospital on May 31.

John, who had been on dialysis for more than two years, had surgery three days after he and Marlene celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.

There were a few complications but nothing seems to have impacted the new kidney, which is just motoring right along.

Marlene and John, who live on Kamloops’ North Shore, like nothing more than to go for a walk at McArthur Island. Yes, John always takes his camera, as he has an unerring eye for wildlife photos. Just like the shot of the owlets that accompanies this piece.

Dorothy was speaking with John the other night and I had her send along a message, saying that I was disappointed that I hadn’t seen any photos of Vancouver wildlife from their temporary home.

JohnCrowsGotta love John’s sense of humour, because it wasn’t long before he posted the other photo that I put up here, the one with the crows in it.

The photo was accompanied by this bit of prose:

“Every night at about sundown a ‘murder’ of crows fly past our place heading east to somewhere I assume where they will roost for the night. There are about 50-60 of them and sometimes they are all close together and often spread out over five minutes. This is for Gregg — it’s the closest I can get to wildlife down here — except when we spend the night in VGH Emergency.”

Oh, how we miss the KKSG gatherings and John’s sense of humour. Hurry home!


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Vic Morin has been driving around Kamloops trying to find a kidney donor.

If you happen to live in Kamloops, you may have seen Vic Morin driving around in his black Mazda CX-5 that carries a message in the rear window.

“I need a kidney . . . Blood Type B+,” the sign reads, adding two phone numbers: “250.573.3765 and 250.574.2547.”

If you’re wondering, Vic and his wife, Colleen Bruce, have heard from two Kamloops women, both of whom have volunteered to give up a kidney and both of whom have begun the testing process.

That doesn’t mean that it’s too late for anyone else to volunteer or to register as an organ donor. The testing process is thorough and takes time, and one or both of these women may not make it to the end. In other words, there’s always room for more potential donors for Vic.

And please remember that your blood type doesn’t have to be B+ in order to help Vic or anyone else you may know who is in need of a kidney. That is where the Living Kidney Donor Program comes in: if you aren’t B+ you could offer up a kidney, but only if Vic or any other specific recipient with whom you are familiar gets one.

That is how hospitals in which transplants are done, and the medical teams that do them, put together chains involving two, four, six or more donors and recipients.

As I have mentioned here previously, that is how my wife, Dorothy, received a kidney almost eight years ago. Her best friend, Darlene, donated a kidney but she wasn’t the same blood type as Dorothy. So Darlene’s kidney went to an anonymous recipient, but that happened only because Dorothy got a kidney from an anonymous donor. Because of privacy concerns, we don’t have any idea how many recipients and donors were involved in this chain, but it had to be at least four — Darlene, Dorothy and two others.

If you are interested in the Living Kidney Donor Program, there is more information further down on this post.






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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

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

Backmeyers need living donor for Ferris . . . Zach graduates, still looking for kidney . . . John’s new kidney looks to be a hit


The Backmeyer family of Kamloops is about to begin a search for a living kidney donor for their daughter, Ferris, 4.

You will recall that Ferris underwent a transplant in Vancouver on March 6, but there were complications and the kidney was removed mere hours after it had been put in place.

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Ferris and Lindsey Backmeyer: The search for a living donor is about to begin. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer/Facebook)

After meeting with the medical team in Vancouver earlier this month, Ferris’s mother, Lindsey, wrote on Facebook that “there were a lot of factors that likely played a part in the failed transplant. The big one is that the kidney had two arteries — one that was apparently hidden and not identified when retrieved. . . . One of the requirements the surgeons had along with it needing to be small was that it be a single-artery, single-vein organ.”

One thing led to another, and clotting led to other issues creating “back pressure and bleeding.” Thus, the transplanted kidney had to be removed.

All of that, though, is in the past.

“For now,” Lindsey said, “the plan is to try and find her a living donor kidney.”

At the meeting in Vancouver, various options were discussed and Lindsey said the plan now is to “have her ready to be transplanted again by September.” That would be six months after the previous attempt.

Going into the Vancouver meeting, Lindsey didn’t think that a living donor would be an option. However, the medical team “expressed a strong desire for a living donor for Ferris . . . there are way too many benefits for a live-donation transplant.”

And so the search for a donor is about to begin.

“They will be incredibly selective in who they will test, but live-donor testing will resume right away!” Lindsey wrote.

Having been down this road with my wife, Dorothy, I can tell you that it isn’t easy asking someone for a kidney. It’s not like asking for a $20 loan, I can tell you that. And that is what the Backmeyers are going through.

As Lindsey put it, “I really don’t like canvassing for a kidney. It feels so weird to me, but her life depends on this . . . so be ready for all the Ferris poster spam!!”

Bring it on, Lindsey, bring it on!


Zach
Zach Tremblay and his date, long-time friend Taylor Martens, got ready to graduate from Stanley Humphries Secondary School in Castlegar last Friday. (Photo: Jana Tremblay/Facebook)

Meanwhile, Zach Tremblay, a young man who has been mentioned in this space on a few previous occasions, is just off a big weekend. Zach, who lives in Robson, B.C., has graduated from high school.

That is quite an accomplishment, when you consider that he has been making three trips a week down the highway to Trail where he undergoes hemodialysis for about four hours at a time.

Yes, Zach is waiting and hoping for a kidney transplant. Graduating from high school doesn’t put an end to any of that. He will continue to make the trek to Trail, and he still needs a kidney.

If you’re able to help, the contact info is further down on this post.


John
Marlene and John Casey, swinging in the pre-transplant days. (Photo: Kathryn Van Kommer/Facebook)

That brings us to John Casey, a happy part of the Kamloops Kidney Support Group.

He was released from St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver on Sunday after having undergone a kidney transplant on May 31, three days after he and his wife, Marlene, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.

“I’m finally out of the hospital and the new kidney seems to be doing well,” he wrote on Facebook. “We will have a long period of recovery and I hope to continue to gain strength. We will be forever grateful to our medical system for pulling me through all this and the amazing personal care I got in the hospital.”

John had been doing peritoneal dialysis — hooking up to a cycler every night at home and letting it run its course while he slept — for more than two years prior to the transplant.

As things turned out, John encountered some cardiac-related issues while his medical team was doing the kidney transplant. This meant that he spent time in the cardiac ward before being transferred to the renal ward.

Things have since stabilized and John now has started his trip along the road to recovery. We eagerly look forward to having him and Marlene back with us in Kamloops.


The Kamloops Kidney Support Group also is feeling sadness after the death of Norm Naylor on Sunday morning at the Marjorie Willoughby Snowden Memorial Hospice Home in Kamloops. . . . Norm had kidney issues, but also was fighting cancer, and it was the cancer that finally took him after a long, hard battle. . . . Whenever the pandemic recedes and allows the KKSG to resume its monthly gatherings, Norm’s smile and dry sense of humour really will be missed. . . . Condolences to his dear wife, Evelyn, and their family.








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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

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

Scattershooting on a Saturday night while wondering about Prime Mooner Socks . . .

Scattershooting2

Hey, if you’re going to be in New York City on June 26, you may be interested in knowing that Springsteen on Broadway will be playing at the St. James Theater. It is scheduled to run through Sept. 4. Yes, you will need a ticket. You also will be required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. Enjoy!



So many people criticize athletes for providing stock answers in any kind of news conference situations. . . . Then, earlier this week, Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets offered comment on the four-game suspension he had received after a nasty hit in a playoff game against the Montreal Canadiens. . . . “I thought I was going to be tried to be shut down by Phillip Danault,” Scheifele said, referring to a Montreal forward. ”Instead, it was department of player safety that shut me down.” . . . For that, the social media mavens were all over him. Yes, it’s a hard world out there.


Jackson


By now you will be aware that the MLB spotlight has shifted from inept hitters who are incapable to going the other way against the shift to pitchers who are gooping up in order to increase their spin rates, which makes the ball to previously unseen things. Apparently, one of the products at least some of the pitchers are using is Spider Tack, which is what serious weightlifters use in order to make sure they have a solid grip on the bar.

Anyway, it turns out that there is another theory out there. Here’s slugger Pete Alonso of the New York Mets in conversation with media during the week: “The biggest concern is MLB manipulates the baseballs year in and year out depending on the free agency class. . . . Oh, no, that’s a fact. Yes, guys have talked about it. It’s not a coincidence. It definitely is something that they did.”

That brought this response from R.J. Anderson, who covers MLB for CBS Sports: “Whether or not one finds merit in Alonso’s conspiracy theory — and it’s reasonable to doubt that MLB is a competent enough organization from top to bottom to pull off such maneuvers — his willingness to publicize it, and to suggest other players hold the same belief, points to the distrust that exists within clubhouses toward commissioner Rob Manfred and the owners.”

And therein is the rub . . . the distrust between players and owners in MLB is off the charts.


Brazil, which has been something of a hotbed for COVID-19, is preparing to play host to Copa America, but first, well, a couple of teams have this problem. . . . Venezuela had eight players and three coaches test positive after arriving in Brazil, while three of Bolivia’s players and one coach also came up positive. . . . Venezuela, which also had two players test positive before departing for Brazil, responded by bring in 15 new players for its opening game today (Sunday) against Brazil. . . . The Bolivians are to play Monday against Paraguay. . . . The tournament will be played without spectators.


Autopsy


After 10 seasons in the KHL, former Kootenay Ice star Nigel Dawes has chosen to move to the DEL, having signed a two-year deal with Adler Mannheim. . . . Dawes, 36, played this season with Ak Bars Kazan, scoring 23 goals and adding 20 assists in 47 games. . . . Dawes, a Winnipeg native, left North America to play in the KHL with Barys Astana for the 2011-12 season. He spent seven seasons with the team in Kazakhstan and has a Kazakh passport. In fact, he has played internationally for Kazakhstan. . . . Dawes then played two seasons with Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg before moving to Ak Bars Kazan. . . . According to Addler Mannheim’s news release, Dawes played in 608 KHL regular-season and playoff games, putting up 293 goals and 257 assists. He is No. 1 among non-Russian goal scorers and No. 2 overall. Dawes also is the fifth-leading point-getter in KHL history. . . . He played four seasons with the Ice in Cranbrook. . . . The New York Rangers selected him in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2003 draft. In 212 NHL games, split among the Rangers, Phoenix Coyotes, Calgary Flames, Atlanta Thrashers and Montreal Canadiens, he had 39 goals and 45 assists.


The legend lives on . . .


If/when the Okanagan Lakers get final approval, they will begin play in the B.C. Intercollegiate Hockey League in time for the start of the 2021-22 season. . . . The Lakers, who will play out of UBC-Okanagan in Kelowna, announced Friday that Kevin Bathurst will be their first head coach. He has been with the Pursuit of Excellence midget varsity team since 2018. . . . The Lakers also announced that Gage Colpron has signed on to the “coaching and operations staff.” He played four seasons at this level, splitting time between the BCIHL’s VIU Mariners and ACAC’s Augustana Vikings.


——

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

Email: donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca

——

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

kidneydonornurse@vch.ca

——

Or, for more information, visit right here.


JUST NOTES: The Victoria Royals and Medicine Hat Tigers cut a deal on Friday. The Victoria Royals added D Damon Agyeman (2002) and a ninth-round selection in the 2023 WHL prospects draft with the Tigers getting a conditional sixth-round pick in that same draft. . . . Agyeman, from Cochrane, Alta., has one goal and one assist in 21 games over three seasons with the Tigers.


Wok

More hepatitis C-infected kidneys being transplanted. . . . Disease able to be treated following surgery. . . . Kidney Walk set for Kamloops on Sept. 22

Kidneysign


A study published Thursday in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reports that American transplant centres are using three times more hepatitis C-infected kidneys for transplant rather than dispose of them.

There has long been a fear that a transplant receiving a kidney with hepatitis C would become ill. According to this report, medical advancements in treating hepatitis C mean that those recipients won’t become ill.

Jen Christensen of CNN writes:

“Hepatitis C is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation, sometimes leading to serious damage. Prior to 2018, most of the infected organs went to patients who already had hepatitis C. Since 2018, most of these infected kidneys, about 75 per cent, went to patients who did not have the virus.

“Patients who received infected kidneys had nearly the same function as those who received uninfected kidneys, the study said.”

Dr. Vishnu Potluri, the study’s lead author and a nephrology fellow at the U of Pennsylvania, told Christensen:

“The key thing about hepatitis C is that millions of Americans have this infection and most don’t know that they have it, it’s mild and takes many years for it to progress.”

Christensen continued: “Until a few years ago, there weren’t really good options to treat hepatitis C. Now, there are drugs with high cure rates, Potluri said. The transplant community realized that you could transplant a kidney from someone with hepatitis C and start treating them right away, Potluri said, and the early trials found the infection could be cured after the transplant.”

Hopefully, this study will signal a change for the system in the U.S., where nearly 40 per cent of hepatitis C-infected kidneys donated between January 2018 and March 2019 were discarded.

Christensen’s story is right here.





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Don’t forget that Kamloops’ 2019 Kidney Walk is set for Sunday, Sept. 22, at McDonald Park. You are able to register starting at 10 a.m., with the walk to begin at 11.

The Brock Central Lions Club will be on hand to provide breakfast — pancakes, sausages and coffee — by donation.

A few numbers for you: Kidney Walkers in B.C. and Yukon have walked 26 million kilometres over the past 12 years. That is more than 67 return trips to the moon. . . . They have raised more than $2.5 million in support of kidney patients. . . . The Kidney Walk helps the Kidney Foundation raise awareness about kidney disease and raises funds for important programs and services to help kidney patients in this community and others across BC and the Yukon. . . .

As of mid-August, in the region served by Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital, there were 1,378 patients with chronic kidney disease being monitored by nephrologists. Of those, 140 had undergone transplants, and 114 were on dialysis. . . . As of Aug. 27, there were 68 people in our area on the pre-transplant list. . . . In 2018, there were 339 kidney transplants performed in B.C., a one-year record.

My wife, Dorothy, will be celebrating the sixth anniversary of her kidney transplant by taking part in her sixth straight Kidney Walk. In her six walks, she has raised more than $15,000. If you would like to support her, you may do so right here.