Lisa Brokop, a highly decorated Canadian country music star, has recorded a song — Ferris Wheel — that was inspired by a poem written by Alvina Snell.
The poem/song is a tribute to Ferris Backmeyer, a five-year-old from Kamloops who has been on dialysis for more than four years as she and her family wait and hope for a kidney transplant.
“The more I listen to it, the more I love it,” Lindsey Backmeyer, Ferris’s mother, wrote on Facebook. “I just can’t even put into words how special it is to me and my family. No matter what happens and how things go, we have this song forever.”
(There is a Facebook link to the song right here. It is accompanied by a video that includes lots of photos of Ferris and her family. Warning: Have tissues at hand!)
Lindsey explained that Alvina had been wanting to do “something special” for the Backmeyers.
“Alvina messaged me awhile back wanting to do something special for our family,” Lindsey wrote. “Help spread the word and help us find a kidney for Ferris. Lisa was offering her fans the opportunity to purchase a song written and recorded by her as a gift to loved ones. Alvina jumped on it!
“The song is inspired by a poem that Alvina wrote. It was beautiful all on its own! She has followed me on Facebook since Ferris was a baby and managed to write something so beautiful and personal. I definitely couldn’t have written anything like that!”
Out of that poem came Lisa’s song.
“Lisa used the poem and some pictures taken from my Facebook feed to create this song,” Lindsey continued. “I am completely in love with it. It’s one of the most special gifts we ever could have received. Huge thanks to both of those ladies!”
In the meantime, the search continues for a kidney for Ferris.
Lindsey explained where things are at right now:
“She has been on dialysis for four years now and had a failed surgical transplant last spring. She has become highly sensitized, which means she’s incredibly hard to match — fewer than three per cent of the population would be a potential match. In addition, she has really small anatomy making a transplant more challenging. Everyone seems to agree that a live donor will give Ferris the best chance at success.
“We have seen a significant decline in her quality of life over the past year. She is currently on dialysis 14 hours every night. She has little physical energy for running and playing. We all know that her only shot at a better life is a successful kidney transplant.”
Over the past while a number of people have offered to be tested but, as Lindsey put it, “so far no one has been approved to donate to Ferris.”
Lindsey also admits that things are getting desperate “and the stakes are soooo high. I have everything to lose. So I’m stepping out of my comfort zone!
“I hope to share Ferris’s story because I believe it’s incredible and worth sharing. She is just soooo special.”
Meanwhile, on the transplant front, it sounds as though Ferris could soon be off to The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
“I don’t have dates yet,” Lindsey posted, “but they want Ferris to come for transplant assessment with the intention for her to be transplanted at their hospital.”
This would involve having Ferris there late next month or early in September for about a week of assessment and meetings.
The person with whom Lindsey spoke “said we would then come home and they would come up with a date for transplant. At that time we would be asked to come two weeks before (for) final testing. . . . We were told to expect to stay in Toronto for roughly three months.”
Of course, it’s too early to get too excited because a lot can happen between now and then. But after a few months of treading water, there just may be a reason for hope.
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.
Time is everything. This is why we promise registering as an organ donor should only #TakeTwoMinutes. That’s faster than microwave popcorn! #Register2Give