Lindsey Backmeyer: We got the callllll!!! . . . Ferris, 4, being prepped for Saturday morning kidney transplant

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Ferris Backmeyer, 4, is scheduled to have a kidney transplant on Saturday morning in Vancouver. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer/Facebook)

If all goes according to plan, Ferris Backmeyer, 4, of Kamloops, will receive a new kidney on Saturday morning in Vancouver.

Her mother, Lindsey, posted the good news on Facebook on Friday morning:

“Oh my goodness I don’t have words. I knew this would happen . . . or was hoping so badly that this would happen!! We got the callllll!!! Mom had already left about 30 minutes before with a car loaded up with our stuff! She’s coming back!!! Ferris will be admitted this afternoon with plans to be transplanted early tomorrow morning. Kidney transplant . . . take 2!!!”

The Backmeyers have been in Vancouver since late December after getting a phone call advising them that a kidney had been found for Ferris. However, after getting settled in Vancouver and preparing for the big day, the surgery was called off.

As Lindsey put it at the time, the medical team “came in about an hour ago now and told us that the retrieval surgeon contacted him with not-so-great news about the kidney.”

She added: “The surgeon said he always asks himself if he would put the kidney in his own daughter and he said absolutely not to this one. That’s good enough for me.”

That brings us to the present. . . .

Ferris was diagnosed with Mainzer-Saldino syndrome shortly after birth. Kidney failure quickly followed, meaning she has been on dialysis — either peritoneal (PD) or hemo — for pretty much all of her short life.

Ferris had been having issues with doing PD in December when the call came about a potential transplant. Because of those issues, she had been scheduled to return to B.C. Children’s Hospital in January to be transitioned to hemo.

That early January transplant didn’t happen, but Ferris stayed in Vancouver and made the move to hemo. It was just last week when she was transitioned back to PD. And, seemingly without a new kidney in sight, the family — Ferris’s older sisters, Tavia, 9, and Ksenia, 7, also have been in Vancouver — was readying to return to their Kamloops home. Ferris’s father, Pat, is attending school in Kamloops, so has been putting on the miles as he spends time in both cities.

And, as you will have noted by Lindsey’s post, her mother, Leslie, was already en route to Kamloops when the call came on Friday. Grandma turned around and headed back, of course.

And now the excitement will be palpable as everyone awaits Saturday morning.









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.


Do good, feel good! Register to be an organ donor and get that warm fuzzy feeling. 1 organ donor can save up to 8 lives. Taketwominutes.ca #TakeTwoMinutes 

What a kid! Smiling Ferris turns 4 . . . Scully looking for living donors . . . Nova Scotia opt-out program looking good

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Despite a medical procedure earlier Friday, Ferris Backmeyer was able to have a great sucker-sucking time at her fourth birthday bash. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer/Facebook)

Ferris Backmeyer celebrated her fourth birthday on Friday in Vancouver.

Ferris, who is from Kamloops, underwent a medical procedure earlier in the day — she also had one on Wednesday — before being able to take part in the birthday party mostly planned by older sisters Tavia, 9, and Ksenia, 7.

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When Ferris got back from the hospital, her big sisters had their Vancouver residence all decked out and it was time to party. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer/Facebook)

Ferris is an amazing young lady, having already gone through what would seem to be a lifetime worth of medical situations. If you aren’t aware, she has been in kidney failure for most of her life, meaning that she has been doing dialysis — either hemo or peritoneal — for most of that time.

“Being in kidney failure is all she knows and I can’t wait for her to be free of dialysis,” her mother, Lindsey, wrote on Facebook. “I can’t wait to see how she’s gonna soar!”

Having gained the necessary weight, Ferris has been on the transplant list for almost a year now and, after one false alarm earlier this month, her family can only continue to wait and hope.

So how is Ferris at 4?

According to Lindsey, “Three was such a big year for her. She had very few words a year ago and now has sooooo much to say. . . . She has endured a lot of medical procedures and I’m always so amazed at how well she does. She’s showing all the nurses and doctors her sassy personality and, aside from being ridiculously cute, she’s pretty funny too!”

It’s never a fun time when your child is on the receiving end of a medical procedure, and that was the case for the Backmeyers on Wednesday and Friday.

But after Friday’s latest adventure was over . . .

“The ship must sail on so to speak,” Lindsey wrote, “and we had a birthday to get ready for. Being true to myself I was up until 2 a.m. finishing the piñata . . . she ‘lubbed’ it!

“She’s really where one would expect if not better for being post op. Lots of sitting and playing (Friday) and standing only to brush her teeth before bedtime. Regular Tylenol and pretty sore at times needing to lay down. We got to bring her home after dialysis and the girls were soooo excited! They had the place all set up. It was perfect.”

Now about that kidney . . .


You may recall hearing or reading about Scully White, the gentleman who operates a hot dog stand at a Canadian Tire in Abbotsford, B.C., and donated a kidney to a customer before Christmas. . . . Well, White now has launched a campaign — It’s For The People — aimed at finding live kidney donors. As Vikki Hopes reports, White “has about 10 people looking for kidneys and about 12 donors who have started the process of blood and tissue sampling.” . . . Hopes has a whole lot more on this story right here.


The head of Nova Scotia’s organ donation program is cautiously optimistic the new presumed consent law is being embraced after seeing the latest numbers on the province’s opt-out registry,” writes Carolyn Ray of CBC News. “Nova Scotia became the first place in North America to switch to an opt-out organ and tissue donation law on Jan. 18. It presumes all adults consent to be donors, unless they say otherwise. Just 10 days after the law was implemented, the Department of Health and Wellness says 11,800 Nova Scotians have registered to opt out. That’s about one per cent of the province’s population.” . . . Ray’s 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

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 to feel awesome in less than 2 minutes? Register as an organ donor today. 1 organ donor can save up to 8 lives. Taketwominutes.ca #TakeTwoMinutes. 

Ferris update 2: Transplant won’t happen right now . . . Undisclosed problem with donor kidney . . . It’s back to waiting game . . .

It turns out that Ferris won’t be getting that kidney this morning.

Lindsey Backmeyer, Ferris’s mother, posted on Facebook just after 12:30 a.m., that the medical team “came in about an hour ago now and told us that the retrieval surgeon contacted him with not-so-great news about the kidney.”

As Lindsey wrote, “Knowing this could happen actually isn’t enough to prepare oneself for the actual disappointment. It was a ‘I need to sit down’ moment.”

She added: “I knew this could happen. It’s apparently quite rare . . . but I hear that all the time with Ferris so am not surprised that we would be living this right now. Doctors around here never come in groups unexpectedly unless they have big or bad news. Even with masks, I knew right when they walked in the room.”

Yes, Lindsey admitted to feeling “all kinds of crushed,” but at the same time wrote that she was “at peace with it.”

As she explained, “The surgeon said he always asks himself if he would put the kidney in his own daughter and he said absolutely not to this one. That’s good enough for me.”

After pausing and thinking about everything that went down on Tuesday, Lindsey wrote: “Everything about today sucked but I actually thought it went pretty smooth. We can do this again. Ferris is doing well; she’s safe and thriving.”

So . . . what’s next for Ferris?

Lindsey said they will stay in Vancouver for now, what with Ferris expected to be switched from peritoneal dialysis to hemodialysis on Jan. 7.

“Not to sound overly optimistic,” she added, “but it gives us eight more days for a kidney to come up before putting in the hemo line.

“(Bleep) . . . another chapter for the book I don’t have time to write!”

At the end of a long, long day, she closed with:

“We really have felt so much love from so many people today . . . sending love right back!”

Ferris update: Kidney transplant scheduled for this morning (Dec. 30) . . . Mom says Ferris has been “chatting up a storm” and “winning hearts” . . .

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Ferris Backmeyer looks rather content on the evening before she is scheduled to have a long-awaited kidney transplant. (PHOTO: Lindsey Backmeyer)

Ferris Backmeyer, the young girl from Kamloops who is in need of a kidney transplant, is scheduled for exactly that at some point this morning.

Her mother, Lindsey, revealed that on Facebook late Tuesday night.

“She’s slated for first thing (Wednesday) morning,” Lindsey wrote, “and for once I don’t think she’s gonna get bumped!! Feelin all the feels.

“I’d be lying if I said I’m not terribly anxious about how things might go (Wednesday). There is a huge team of people behind her right now. They have told us she’s not straight forward and there’s so many possibilities of what might happen. . . . Anesthesia plans on leaving her intubated and taking her to the PICU. I’m confident she’s gonna show them how well she can do and the tube will be short-lived!!”

Ferris, who is almost four, has been doing dialysis for almost all of her life. The phone call saying a kidney was available came on Tuesday at 1 a.m. Ferris and her parents, Lindsey and Pat, drove to B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver later in the day.

Late Tuesday night, Lindsey posted on Facebook that it had been a long day.

“Still awake! Running on fumes,” she wrote. “Overall I have to say today went way better than how I had envisioned it when I got the call at 1 a.m.

“Ferris just rolls with the punches. Lives in the now. Tolerates all the things so well I can’t help but be proud of her. She rocked the IV start . . . not so much the lab draw that came shortly after. She had multiple ultrasounds, X-rays, Covid swab, ECG, the IV, labs and another poke for her Darbepoetin. It was a solid 4 hours of back to back things.

“She’s been chatting up a storm and winning the hearts of anyone that comes to do the things!! Showing her tummy off to anyone who asks!! Haha.”

According to Lindsey, Ferris is “just in such a sweet spot right now and I don’t think there’s gonna be a better time! I’m super optimistic and mostly really excited!! I’m praying that tonight is our last night of PD for a very long time!!

“You got this girl!!”

The Backmeyers “got the call!!!!” . . . Transplant may be next for Ferris . . . Kamloops parents continue search for kidney for son

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Mother and sleeping daughter, Lindsey and Ferris Backmeyer, before leaving for Vancouver and, hopefully, a new chapter. (PHOTO: Lindsey Backmeyer)

The phone call came and Ferris Backmeyer, her mother, Lindsey, and father, Pat, left their home in Kamloops for B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver on Tuesday morning.

In the wee hours of that morning, Lindsey, below a photo of her and a sleeping Ferris, who is soon to turn four, posted on Facebook:

“We got the call!!! In a few short hours I will be waking this sweet girl up and packing her into the truck and driving her to BCCH . . . where hopefully she will get a beautifully healthy kidney!!!!”

Later on Tuesday morning, Lindsey’s father, Ken Maydaniuk, posted:

“This girl is on her way to the BCCH with mom and dad. A call came during the night that a they have a kidney for Ferris. Grandma and the bigs will follow. Fingers crossed for Ferris and family that the surgery will all workout. That’s a great Christmas gift. . . . We’re all very grateful for the massive support the family has received.”

Grandma is Lindsey’s mother, Leslie, while the “bigs” are Ferris’s older sisters Ksenia and Tavia.

Ferris, of course, is hardly a stranger to BCCH, having first been there when she was three weeks old. She was diagnosed with Mainzer-Saldino syndrome and it wasn’t long before she experienced kidney failure.

For the vast majority of her young life, then, Ferris has been on dialysis, mostly peritoneal dialysis (PD), something that can be done while at home and is done on a daily basis. On the occasions when there have been issues with PD, she has had to return to BCCH and transition to hemodialysis, at least until the PD situation was straightened out.

Of late, Ferris has been experiencing problems with PD, especially when it comes to draining, which means she has been retaining fluid. She was scheduled to return to BCCH early in January to be transitioned to hemo in an attempt to quell those issues. In time, and without a kidney available. it was hoped that she would be able to go back to PD and return home.

Now, however, it seems that there is a living donor who has passed all the tests and things just may be ready to go. It was almost a year and a half ago that the Backmeyers were given the OK to begin a public search for a donor, and that’s when Lindsey turned to Facebook in an attempt to find someone willing to offer up a kidney for her donor.

Now it seems as though the search may be over.

Ferris, you got this little girl!







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.

Kidney disease doesn’t care that it’s Christmas . . . Want free hotdogs for life? Donate a kidney . . .

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The Backmeyer sisters — Ksenia (left), Ferris and Tavia. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer)

There are a couple of things that you should know about kidney disease.

For starters, there isn’t a cure. Dialysis, hemo or peritoneal, isn’t a cure. A transplant isn’t a cure.

Second, well, I’ll let Lindsey Backmeyer fill you in . . .

“Kidney disease does not give a crap that it’s Christmas time,” she wrote in a Facebook post this week.

Ferris, Lindsey and Pat’s soon-to-be four-year-old daughter, has been on dialysis, almost always peritoneal (PD), most of her young life. There have been issues of late, though, and a trip to B.C. Children’s Hospital is scheduled for early January.

In the meantime . . .

“Dialysis has been not great the past few nights and there’s this lingering feeling of ‘Oh crap! It’s Christmas . . . This is not at all how things are supposed to go.”

With Ferris having a tough go of it with PD, the spectre of an earlier than planned trip to BCCH hangs over the Backmeyers.

“We will know in the next couple of days whether we can relax or prepare to get to (BDDH) sooner than planned,” Lindsey wrote. “Things need to correct like they did in November.”

Through it all, Ferris forges on like the little trouper she is.

As Lindsey explained: “Thankfully she’s still her sassy little self. . . . Her tummy is a bit bigger, she’s not draining as well, not pulling fluid as well. She is scheduled for the hemodialysis line to be placed on Jan. 7.

“I so desperately want that time here with my family, unless of course a kidney was to come along! I want ski days and sledding and skating with my girls. However, I’m totally preparing myself for Plan B . . . or C . . .”

The Backmeyers don’t have any idea how long their Vancouver residency will last this time, and they continue to look for a rental large enough for five and with a price point that fits.

The BC Family Residency Program “will cover us to stay at the same suite we had this summer for the first month,” Lindsey explained. “After that it’s a bit outta our price range but I’m going to remain optimistic we could get transplanted . . . and be home in the spring!”

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Ferris Backmeyer, a girl with 1,000 expressions. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer)

While all of this is going on, Lindsey says the family has been marvelling at the reaction from the community.

“We’ve had like this outrageous amount of support from our family and friends,” she wrote, adding that it really is helping her through a tough time.

“I tell ya . . . it’s hitting me hard this year,” she wrote. “Things feel so completely beyond my control right now and it’s not the most comforting feeling. Plus it’s friggin Christmas-time and it’s supposed to be magical and relaxing but there’s so many people calling and sooo many emails.”

Always remember, too, that Ferris has two older sisters — Ksenia and Tavia. They are a big deal, too, and can’t be forgotten in all of this.

“The last day of school was clouded with huge feelings of missing out in the new year,” Lindsey wrote. “Tavia’s teacher was away the last couple days so she was upset about not being able to present a science project, she didn’t get to give her teacher her gift, her class is tubing at Harper (Mountain) in February . . . big things in her world.”

At the end of the day, though, the Backmeyers are feeling the love, especially at this special time of year.

“I really just want to thank everyone for all of the love. I feel it so deeply I really can’t put it into words” is how Lindsey put it. “I’ve had so many moments of pure exhaustion and feelings of failure the past few weeks and someone comes in to save our day. Like, seriously, this is happening every single day around here.

“The season feels magical to my kids and they are soooo excited for Christmas. So much of it has been because of random acts of kindness for them. It’s like so ridiculously heartwarming . . . particularly this year! There still is so much good in this world!!!”

Now if only the Backmeyers would get that kidney-is-ready phone call!


How would you like it if someone offered you free footlong hotdogs for life?

Would you donate a kidney in order to take advantage of such an offer?

Well . . . here’s the deal:

Skully White operates Lullys Food Experience out of a Canadian Tire parking lot in Abbotsford, B.C. On Dec. 14, he donated a kidney to Tim Hiscock, a regular customer.

The surgery took place at Vancouver General Hospital. White was discharged two days after surgery; Hiscock went home on Friday.

One day after surgery, the two visited in Hiscock’s hospital room.

White told Scott Brown of the Vancouver Sun: “He was weak but we chatted for a little bit and eventually I just said, ‘Okay, so apart from the pain that we’re both feeling from being cut open, and the grogginess and everything. How does not being on dialysis and having the kidney feel?’ And he looked at me with a smile . . . and he had tears coming down his face. It was the most amazing feeling in the world that I could do this for him.”

White has since posted on his Facebook page, stating that “Lullys is starting a campaign to find others willing to step forward and become live kidney donors.”

The post adds: “Skully from lulls became a live kidney donor and saved somebody’s life. You can too and you’ll also get FREE footlong hotdogs for life from lullys.

“Save a life and get free hotdogs, need I say more?”

Brown’s 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

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.

Backmeyers looking for rental in Vancouver. Can you help? . . . Gillis remembers good news day . . . Checking in with Julie Dodds

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Ferris and Pat Backmeyer. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer)

In what seems like another life a long time ago, Pat Backmeyer entertained hockey fans in Kamloops as Digger, the Blazers’ mascot.

In his real life, he is the father of three young daughters, one of whom, Ferris, had kidney disease. Ferris is three (yes, Ferris, I know you soon will be four) and has been on one form of dialysis or another for a lot of her young life.

Of late, she has been having issues with peritoneal dialysis (PD) and will be heading to Vancouver and B.C. Children’s Hospital early in the new year so that she can be switched over to hemodialysis, at least for a while.

With so much uncertainty and in an attempt to make things easier, Pat and his wife, Lindsey, have decided to set up housekeeping in Vancouver for the foreseeable future.

With that in mind, Pat has turned to Facebook in the hopes of finding a rental accommodation.

“As most of you know,” he wrote, “my daughter Ferris has to go down to Vancouver to have a surgery to repair her abdomen. This unfortunately means switching her over to hemodialysis which is only able to be done at Children’s Hospital.

“So we had to make the decision to move the family down to Vancouver for a minimum of 3 months but could be potentially longer and even a chance of staying until she receives a kidney.

“There are a few places we have seen but the rent in Vancouver for a place that will fit our family is out of our budget. So I am putting a shout out to anyone who might have a friend or know someone who has a place to rent in Vancouver. There will be 5 of us down there. And we need it furnished, and hopefully close as possible to Children’s Hospital.”

This won’t be their first stint at B.C. Children’s Hospital and in the past they have stayed at Ronald McDonald House. But, as Pat pointed out, “Due to COVID they have strict quarantine procedures and due to me commuting back and forth from Kamloops for school it is unfortunately not a option.”

So . . . if you know someone who might have something that would fit the bill for the Backmeyers, contact me at greggdrinnan@gmail.com and I’ll pass along the information.


You may remember Stephen Gillis as the Vancouver minor hockey coach whose team mounted something of a campaign in the hopes of finding a live kidney donor who could help him.

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Stephen Gillis (centre) with Zach Tremblay and his mother, Jana, together on March 11. Stephen’s team had just won a championship that they dedicated to Zach, a 17-year-old from Robson, B.C., who needs a kidney. (Photo: Stephen Gillis)

You also will remember that a friend, Michael Teigen, donated a kidney and that the surgery took place on Feb. 18. But Gillis also remembers one other important date.

Here’s Gillis in a Facebook post on Dec. 11:

“One year ago today, Michael Teigen and Denise Jones showed up to VGH while I was on dialysis to surprise me with our kidney transplant date.

Each day I awaken with endless gratitude for Michael’s selfless and heroic act. My second chance at a full life, COVID aside, has not been taken for granted.

“Almost 10 months post transplant, Michael is doing great and is currently filming another film (his 3rd post transplant), my bloodwork is near perfect and now my follow-ups have moved to every 2 months.

“From the beginning we have shared our story to help others. To raise awareness for organ donation & kidney disease, and to show it isn’t scary to share your health with someone. Rather it is a special gift.

“To all the healthcare professionals that assisted myself and Michael along our journey, THANK YOU. To Michael, endless thank you for eternity, I love you.

Thank you all for your support through it all, it did and still does mean the world.

Be kind. Be safe. Be like Mike.

#beadonor

#organdonation

#organdonorssavelives


Chad Klassen of CFJC-TV in Kamloops caught up with Julie Dodds on Thursday and provides an update right here. Julie underwent a kidney transplant at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver on Oct. 28. The living donor was her younger brother, Jason. . . . Julie was back home in less than four weeks and now is preparing for a Merry Christmas with her husband and their three boys. . . . That story is right here.


Rochelle Corpuz of Kamloops was diagnosed with lupus 16 years ago, two years before she moved here from the Philippines. The autoimmune disease is hard on kidneys and Corpuz’s condition “has worsened and I have to face the reality of kidney failure in the very near future. We are talking months here,” she told Tereza Verenca of castanetkamloops.net. . . . Corpuz, 37, knows that the best scenario for her is to have a kidney transplant from a live donor, and to have that surgery before she is forced to go on dialysis. With that in mind, she has started the search for a living kidney donor. . . . There’s more on her story right here.



Vic2

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.

Some children want their two front teeth for Christmas; Ferris would like a kidney

Ferris
No matter the situation, Ferris Backmeyer seems able to find a smile for us. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer)

Ferris Backmeyer and her family will be together for Christmas at their Kamloops home. And if things go really well Santa Claus will gift Ferris with a new kidney. Please Santa!

Ferris, who will turn four years of age early in the new year, spent about four hours at B.C. Children’s Hospital (BCCH) in Vancouver last week. At some point early in January, she will be on her way back there, but this time she’ll be there for a while; in fact, her mother, Lindsey, expects it to be perhaps March or even longer before they’re back home.

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There are times when Ferris fancies herself a bit of an artist. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer)

In the early days of her life, Ferris was diagnosed with Mainzer-Saldino syndrome, a rare disease that, among other things, causes kidney failure. As a result, she has been on dialysis for almost three years now.

For the most part, Ferris has been able to do peritoneal dialysis (PD) at home — hooking up to a machine called a cycler every day.

Of late, however, there have been some issues with Ferris’s PD, especially in the area of draining. When someone does PD, the cycler performs a fluid exchange, removing toxins from the body and inserting clean fluids, doing the work normally done by healthy kidneys. Lately, though, Ferris’s PD hasn’t been working as cleanly as it needs to be.

So . . . early in January the medical team is expected to put her back on hemodialysis. As Lindsey points out, hemo “requires treatment four days a week so commuting from here really isn’t feasible.”

When Ferris and Lindsey go to Vancouver, it requires a team effort, with Lindsey’s mother helping out with the older sisters, Ksenia and Tavia.

As for Ferris, Lindsey says doctors “don’t plan to repair her abdomen right away. They are hoping fluid will get pulled off or will reabsorb.”

In a conversation with a nephrologist earlier this week, Lindsey says she was told that after Ferris underwent an MRI last week “he was surprised to see that there was a good amount of fluid in there. I can’t say that I am . . . it’s quite obvious there’s a good amount of fluid in there!”

The hope is that after some time on hemo, Ferris can have another catheter inserted into her abdomen and then transition back to PD. Unless a kidney comes available, that is.

“So we will go down. With no estimated return date. I feel like March will be a very best-case scenario . . . It’s crazy because they ‘gave us Christmas’ but we are feeling more isolated than ever. Christmas is going to be different and lonely just like living in Vancouver is.”

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Lindsey and Ferris, a loving combination. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer)

After the latest stint in Vancouver, this one short, Lindsey wrote on Facebook that “everyone is hopeful a kidney will fall out of the sky before or during that time” in Vancouver in January.

But, at least for now, Lindsey and Ferris are at home, along with the other three family members — Dad Pat and Ksenia and Tavia.

And the stress is there, too, having moved in like a bad boarder who just won’t leave.

When Lindsey posts on Facebook, the words sag under the weight that she and Pat carry with them on a daily basis.

“So we are at home,” she wrote. “It feels like the conditions for being able to stay here are many. Her dialysis management is more complex than ever. We were sent home without a dialysis prescription. We will be using how she looks/feels and her blood pressures to determine what we do each night from now until then, which means daily communication with all the Information. I’m fine with that if it means getting to be home right now. I get it and could totally just do our thing.

“It’s the gathering of information, the emails, the phone calls that wear me down. So many feelings really. So much shit to figure out.”

My wife, Dorothy, underwent a kidney transplant in September 2013 after almost four years of doing PD. So we dealt with kidney disease in our home for some time. But, and we talk about this on a regular basis, our load was and continues to be so tiny compared to what the Backmeyers have on their shoulders.

While working to steer Ferris through all of this, Ksenia and Tavia can’t be forgotten. There is schooling and friends and Lindsey’s work and Pat’s schooling and everything else that goes into the daily rigours of life. Oh, and let’s not forget that we have spent most of the past year living with this intruder — COVID-19 — having disrupted our lives.

“The wheels feel like they are falling off with all the logistics,” Lindsey wrote, and who can blame her, “but, man, you really wouldn’t know anything big is going on if you saw Ferris.

“She was definitely better a month ago (energy-wise), but she’s still as fiery as ever. Plays hard most of the day. Chatty as ever and forever the tiny dictator. She’s having big success in the potty-training department. She’s just so so sweet and my heart is sad for her.

“All any of us want for Christmas is a kidney for this sweet girl!!!”

Santa, are you listening?

——

Meanwhile, Julie Dodds of Kamloops, who underwent a kidney transplant on Oct. 28 and returned home less than four weeks later, was back at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver for a follow-up appointment earlier this week.

All went well and the married mother of three boys is well on her way.

The next step comes next week when her file should be transferred to the Kamloops renal clinic at Royal Inland Hospital.

What a Christmas present for Julie and her family!

——

BTW, the 2021 Kidney Walk of Kamloops will be held virtually, as it was in 2020. Yes, Dorothy will be taking part, as she has since 2014. . . . She already has registered and her granddaughters, Averi and Kara, already have joined her team. If you are interested in making a donation — perhaps you are looking for a tax receipt for this year’s filing — you are able to do so right here.

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I have written here before about how hard it is for someone with kidney disease and in need of a transplant to ask a family member, a friend or anyone else to consider being a donor. It’s not like asking for a $20 loan or to borrow a book or a hammer. This goes so much deeper than that and, in a lot of instances, the person needing the kidney has to overcome the feeling of not wanting to put their problem on someone else’s shoulders.

In an attempt to help their son find a kidney, a couple we know have come up with a terrific idea. They have had 75 Christmas cards made up and will send them to family and friends. Included will be information about their son and contact information for the Living Kidney Donor Program, contact information like this . . .

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.




 

Welcome home, Julie! . . . The Backmeyers still playing waiting game . . . Rockets auctioning sweaters

Julie Dodds arrived back at the family’s Kamloops home on Sunday afternoon, less than four weeks after undergoing a kidney transplant at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Julie, a mother of three boys, had the transplant on Oct. 28, with her younger brother, Jason Brauer of Port McNeill, B.C., as the living donor.

Julie was welcomed home by friends and neighbours who staged what has become known as a COVID parade. Well done, folks!

Julie’s transplant team will continue to monitor her progress through regular bloodwork. She also will go back to St. Paul’s early in December for an in-person checkup. And, of course, she will be in regular contact with the nephrologists and staff in the renal clinic at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops.

——

Meanwhile, the Backmeyer family of Kamloops continues to wait and hope for a kidney for Ferris, who will be turning four early in 2021.

Just because things have been fairly quiet on the home front, especially after a sometimes hectic summer, doesn’t mean that nothing has been happening.

“Somehow we’ve managed to stay home the past couple weeks even though there’s some big stuff going on with Miss Ferris,” Lindsey, Ferris’s mother, wrote on Facebook late last week.

FerrisSisters
Ferris Backmeyer and her big sisters, Ksenia (left) and Tavia, enjoy an autumn walk. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer/Facebook)

A week earlier, Ferris had “developed a leak internally and she had about four nights where dialysis didn’t go well.”

In peritoneal dialysis, fluid goes into the body and fluid drains from the body, removing toxins in the process, a job that is done by the kidneys of a healthy person.

Ferris wasn’t draining properly, primarily from her day dwell, and Lindsey said she had gained close to a kilogram that would be fluid weight.

“Her tummy got real big,” Lindsey wrote, adding that Ferris didn’t appear at all bothered as she “was acting her normal self.”

They decided to stop her day dwell “because she wasn’t draining it and was absorbing/pocketing the fluid.”

There were a number of chats with staff from B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

And, as Lindsey pointed out, “It’s a lot of ‘extra’ on top of all the regular things that keep a family busy.”

But being able to communicate with BCCH meant they were able to stay at home “so I’ll take it!”

At the same time, Ferris was doing well with her PD at night “when we hit her with high-concentration fluids and we now have her weight back down.”

One other thing . . . it doesn’t matter your age, dialysis is a draining experience. With Ferris, Lindsey says, “Dialysis literally sucks the life right out of her. She laid around for a few days” but then one night had a great drain and the next day “she was amazing again!”

However, there will be a trip to Vancouver in the near future.

“They are concerned about increased risk of peritonitis if there’s fluid just sitting in there so are having us come down for an MRI and urology consult,” Lindsey explained. “I’m trying to stay optimistic that they will recommend leaving it alone as long as dialysis is working.”

BackmeyerGirls
Ferris is flanked by the bigs — Tavia (left) and Ksenia. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer/Facebook)

Ferris is flanked by the bigs — Tavia (left) and Ksenia. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer/Facebook)

And through it all there are two older sisters — Ksenia and Tavia — who also need care and attention.

“My bigs needed some fun with Mom and I really wanted to try get some pics of the three of them,” Lindsey wrote, then added: “It’s hard to believe, Ferris has been on dialysis for 2.5 years. Over half her life. She’s so full of personality and is a really funny kid. She might actually be the most annoying little sister ever but they love her so much. It’s time for something better for her.

“A successful kidney transplant is her best bet and we feel desperate for it sometimes. Well, most of the time really.

“I’ve learned time and time again that it all changes in an instant. It’s a lesson I’d prefer not to have thrown in my face on the regular but I feel like I’m coping a bit better each time . . . so there’s that!

“Last Wednesday it was like ‘yup we are going’ . . . did laundry, folded socks, had a packing list in my head and was ready to do the things. PD not working any more means hemo but I really don’t like not having a back up for our back-up plan. It’s a sick feeling.

“Come on kidney!!”

——

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.



Vic2


Kamloops mom hoping transplant is near . . . Donor search for Ferris continues . . . Early stages of CKD? There’s a webinar for you on Sept. 24

Just over a year ago, Julie Dodds of Kamloops turned to Facebook in an attempt to find a living kidney donor. She has Medullary Kidney Disease Type 1, a genetic condition, and had reached Stage 4. . . . The next step is kidney failure and dialysis, and she almost is there these days. . . . This week, Chad Klassen of CFJC-TV in Kamloops updated Julie’s story and, fingers crossed, the married mother of three boys may be getting close to a transplant. . . . It’s also the story of friends, and friends of friends, responding to a call for help. . . . That story is right here.

——

Meanwhile, the search for a kidney donor for Ferris Backmeyer, a three-year-old from Kamloops, will continue after Kim DeRose, who spent six months in the testing process, was ruled out. . . . According to her friend Melissa Robinson, who wrote with DeRose’s approval, she was found to have a high level of calcium in a kidney and that was enough for doctors to rule her out. . . . DeRose had read about Ferris’s story, and according to Lindsey Backmeyer, “was inspired to get tested. . . . See if she would be able to give Ferris a better life.” . . .

Robinson wrote on Facebook: “I would like to send a huge shout out to my friend Kimmy. . . . I would like to express how grateful this universe is for people like her.”

Robinson pointed out that DeRose didn’t have any connection to the Backmeyers and is “just a kind heart doing something extremely positive.”

She added: “Positive tests made Kim hopeful that this sweet little girl would get a chance to live her well-deserved life off dialysis; unfortunately, she got the phone call that . . . it is unsafe for her to donate.

“Feeling discouraged and broken, I wanted to express to my friend how brave and kind-hearted she is for doing something so scary!”

As Lindsey wrote on her Facebook page: “This world needs more Kims! There are at least a dozen kids in the province who need kidneys . . . hundreds of adults. Some of whom are parents of young children and all are deserving of a better life.”

A huge thank you to Kim DeRose from my little corner of the Kamloops kidney community. Thank you for being so unselfish. And, yes, the world, as Lindsey wrote, needs more people like you.


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.