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

FerrisPat
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.

Ferris2
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.”

LindseyFerris
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.

——

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.

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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


Christmas to remember for Dodds family . . . Julie’s coming home with new kidney this weekend . . . She had transplant on Oct. 28

Julie Dodds is coming home!

Julie, a mother of three young boys from Kamloops, underwent a kidney transplant at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver on Oct. 28. She was released from hospital four days later and has been staying in a hotel near the hospital, while returning for bloodwork and to meet with her transplant team.

JulieUmbrella
Julie Dodds will be leaving the wet weather of the West Coast for the sunshine of Kamloops on Sunday. Hey, after you have had a kidney transplant the sun always shines. (PHOTO: Julie Dodds)

She was told Thursday that she has been cleared to return home this weekend. So her husband, Allan, and the boys will be bringing her home on Sunday.

When she is back in Kamloops, she will be under the care of the fantastic renal team at Royal Inland Hospital that is headed up by Dr. Joslyn Conley and includes Dr. Kathryn Scobie and Dr. Vanbric Casilla.

Julie says she will “still have to do blood work twice a week” and will have “virtual appointments on Fridays” with the team at St. Paul’s Hospital. She also will return to St. Paul’s for appointments on Dec. 7.
“Obviously something could come up here or there and I’ll be back,” she said, “but I’m taking this good news for today and enjoying the idea of hugging my kids for the first time in three and a half weeks!!”

Julie was in Stage 4 kidney failure thanks to a genetic kidney disease called Medullary Kidney Disease Type 1. She was fortunate in that she was able to get a transplant before having to go on dialysis, and the donor was her younger brother, Jason Brauer, who is from Port McNeill, B.C. He was discharged from hospital one day after surgery. A transplant before dialysis is needed and involving a sibling is pretty much a best-case scenario when it comes to kidney transplants.

You can bet that this will be a Christmas to remember for the Dodds family of Kamloops.

——

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.


Dante Sebastian Andreatta was 12 years of age — he would have turned 13 in December — when he died on Nov. 11. Four days earlier, he had been caught in the crossfire of a shooting in North York, Ont. He was grocery shopping with his mother at the time. . . . An online fund-raising campaign shared with CTV News Toronto reads:“It’s with heavy hearts that we mourn a life that was taken too soon, but one that has not left in vain. Dante’s kindness and generosity will live on through nine lives that were saved because of his organ donation.” . . . Beth Macdonell of iheartradio.ca has more right here.







Scattershooting on a Sunday night while wondering what to do with the day’s extra hour . . .

Scattershooting

JulieHotel
Julie Dodds soaks up some fresh air and sunshine after being discharged from hospital on Sunday afternoon. (Photo: Allan Dodds)

Julie Dodds of Kamloops, who underwent a kidney transplant on Wednesday, was discharged from St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver on Sunday. . . . She will spend the next few weeks in Vancouver — for now, she’s staying in a hotel close to St. Paul’s — while her medical team monitors her levels through regular bloodwork. . . . Julie, who has a genetic kidney disease, is from Kamloops. The married mother of three young boys received a kidney from a living donor — her younger brother, Jason Brauer of Port McNeill, B.C. . . . After giving up a kidney on Wednesday, Jason was discharged from hospital on Thursday.


If you haven’t listened to this blurb with baseball fan Bob Costas talking about Game 6 of the World Series and MLB’s pace-of-play issue, this is well worth your time.


The book, from Penguin Random House, is to be published on April 6. The title is Call Me Indian: From the Trauma of Residential School to Becoming the NHL’s First Treaty Indigenous Player. . . . The author is Fred Sasakamoose, and if you don’t know who he is, well, Google is your friend. . . . Yes, I eagerly await the arrival of this one.



If you were to take one bite of a hot dog every time you saw a football coach — NCAA or NFL — improperly wearing a facemask you would be as big as the Goodyear Blimp after just one weekend’s viewing.


Here are a couple of hockey chirps left over from the other day when I lifted a few from a Twitter thread started by Jason Gregor of TSN1260 in Edmonton . . .

“Playing junior in PEI and one of the teams had recruited a Newfoundlander who played defence. He got beat 1-on-1 and scored against and while skating past our bench to go off the ice someone said ‘Come by plane, go home by boat.’ ”

“Pushing during faceoff, other guy says, ‘Easy there cheese burger.’ Buddy on my own team was in tears. I was a little portly. Nickname has stuck with me ever since.”


Mess



“At the end of the first half, an all-out physical brawl erupted at midfield between Florida and Missouri football players,” notes Janice Hough, aka the Left Coast Sports Babe. “But, sure, these young men are mature and disciplined enough to play football during a pandemic.”


Disaster


COVID-19 CHRONICLES . . .

MLS postponed one game and cancelled another after more positive tests. . . . Los Angeles FC had three positives so its Sunday night game at San Jose against the Earthquakes was postponed. The league is working to see if it can be rescheduled. . . . Minnesota United had a positive test come up on Wednesday and another one on Saturday. Its game at Sporting Kansas City was cancelled because it wouldn’t have any impact on the playoff picture. . . .

The United Soccer League cancelled its Sunday championship final after what it said were “multiple” positives on the Tampa Bay Rowdies, who were to have played the Phoenix Rising in St. Petersburg, Fla. Head coach Neill Collins was among those who tested positive. . . . The league said it was cancelling the final “for the health and safety of everyone involved.”


“One of the shortest marriages in NFL history was Evelyn Lozada filing for divorce from wideout Chad Johnson after 41 days,” reports RJ Currie over at sportsdeke.com. “Or as football receivers call it — a quick out.”


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.


If the West Van Hockey Academy, which had been the home of the Warriors, is to operate again it seems it won’t be until at least 2022-23. The academy had been running its academics out of Sentinel Secondary in West Vancouver, but the school district didn’t renew its contract after last season. The pandemic then got in the way of a possible relocation to Seycove Secondary in North Vancouver. . . . Jane Seyd of the North Shore News has that story right here.



JUST NOTES: Are you ready for Tuesday night and whatever circus that arrives with it? . . . When a team is really poor, like the Dallas Cowboys, there should be a way for the NFL to keep it off TV. . . . The Cowboys didn’t score even one offensive TD in either of their past two games. They are scheduled to play the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. The Steelers are 6-0. The Steelers have the NFL’s best defence. . . . The best nickname in sports today belongs to Damon Harrison, aka Snacks, a veteran nose tackle who is on the Seattle Seahawks’ practice roster. How large is Snacks? About 6-foot-3 and 350 lb. . . . The SJHL concluded its exhibition season Sunday and now will open regular-season play on Friday. All games will be played before a maximum of 150 fans.


Puzzle

Julie starts to settle into a kidney recipient’s routine . . . Hoping to be discharged on Sunday . . . A live donor tells her story

JulieMeds
Here’s a look at the anti-rejection meds Julie Dodds took on Thursday night after having a kidney transplant on Wednesday. (Photo: Allan Dodds)

Julie Dodds, a married mother of three young boys who lives in Kamloops, underwent a kidney transplant on Wednesday morning/afternoon at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

She was out of recovery and into her hospital room that night.

JulieIV
Julie Dodds was looking comfortable in her bed at St. Paul’s Hospital on Friday. She is hoping to be discharged on Sunday after having had a kidney transplant on Wednesday. (Photo: Allan Dodds)

Her brother, Jason Brauer of Port McNeill, B.C., was her live donor. He was up and walking to his sister’s room on Thursday morning. Later in the day, Julie and her IV pole wandered down the hallway to visit Jason in his room. And before the day was done, Jason was discharged. Yes, one day after giving up a kidney, he was on his way.

And now Julie is beginning to get a taste of the medication side of life with a new kidney.

On Thursday night, Julie’s husband, Allan, who has accompanied her for this part of her journey, provided a photo that shows the regimen of anti-rejection medication that she is taking for now.

Of course, the new kidney will be a match for Julie, otherwise the surgery wouldn’t have happened. But the kidney still is foreign to her system, so, in brief, the anti-rejection meds work to keep it from being rejected. She will take meds twice a day — 12 hours apart — for the rest of her life.

She also will be going for regular bloodwork as her medical team keeps tabs on various levels, using that knowledge to adjust her medications as necessary. Eventually, a balance will be reached — but the regular bloodwork will continue, although visits to the lab will become less frequent over the years.

As part of getting the various levels where the professionals want them, a transplant recipient often will be given meds via IV. Allan posted on Friday that Julie was hooked up to a potassium phosphate bag.

Still, he wrote, “she’s crushing the peeing.”

And that’s great news!

Julie hopes to be discharged on Sunday, although she knows that she will have to stay in Vancouver for the next couple of months. During that time, she will settle into a routine of visits to the kidney clinic at St. Paul’s as the team there continues to monitor her progress.


What follows is a piece I posted here earlier this year. It was written by Susan Duncan, who was the editor of the late Kamloops Daily News when I started there as the sports editor in the spring of 2000.

It was 16 years later when Susan, by then working for the Interior Health Authority in Kamloops, donated a kidney. This is her story, in her words — and it is really important. So if you haven’t already, please give it a read.

——

I donated a kidney in July 2016. I generally avoid talking about it because people then tell me how brave I was and so on. It’s embarrassing and also a huge exaggeration of my decision.

As well, I worry about encouraging someone else to donate. I don’t want the burden of guilt I will feel if someone does decide to donate a kidney and then has an unhappy experience.

But as I read the appeals by my former colleague Gregg Drinnan on behalf of desperate people searching for live kidney donors, I feel a sense of responsibility to share what it means to be an organ donor.

I realize that the time has come for me to be brave. The chances of having a bad experience are slim and there are so many sick people who need others to step up.

So here is my story. I hope one or some of you will make it yours.

Susan
On Sept. 22, 2017, Susan Duncan found herself on the front page of Kamloops This Week, along with Lloyd Garner.

I donated my left kidney four years ago and I haven’t missed it since. There was no side effect from the surgery, my blood pressure has remained low and my kidney function is normal. One healthy kidney is all this old body ever needed and, various factors aside, it’s probably all yours needs, too.

It was a bit of a fluke that I ended up being a donor. I knew the man’s wife vaguely through work and that she and her husband had three young children. I met her one day in the elevator at work and she told me she was at the hospital because her husband was there for dialysis.

He got sick suddenly in February and a few months later he was spending four hours a day, three days a week in the renal unit at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. They also lived two hours out of town so you can imagine what that was doing to their family life.

She introduced me to him and I warmed immediately to his big friendly smile. We chatted briefly about his illness, then we said goodbye. As I walked away, he called out, “Hey, if you know anyone with A positive blood type . . .”

I looked back and said, “I’m A positive . . . maybe I should get tested.” That night I researched live kidney donation and discovered that a person only needs one healthy kidney to live a full life.

The paperwork began, followed by a myriad of tests, including psychological. It turns out it doesn’t take much to be a match for a kidney donation.

At age 59, tests showed that I, an atheist mother of three grown children and two stepchildren, was a match for a 50-year-old man of deep Christian faith and father of three small children.

I went into hospital on a Monday morning and was out of surgery by noon. My husband was barely on the ninth tee when he got the call that all went well.

My former kidney got a good flushing out and was put in her new home later that afternoon. I’m told — and I’m proud of this — that she started pumping out urine before the surgeons even finished sewing her in place.

I stayed two nights in a little room at St. Paul’s Hospital, just down the hall from my match. I left the hospital at noon on Wednesday, walking slowly and feeling very tired.

Spare no tears for me though. The heroes are the patients who get the kidneys — they endure far more. But in the end, they not only stay alive, they live joyously, unencumbered by dialysis machines either at home or in the hospital.

I spent two more days in Vancouver at relatives. I took a few Tramadol (pain killers). Friday morning, my husband and I drove home to Kamloops. On Saturday afternoon, we went to a beautiful outdoor wedding and reception.

I felt really poorly once about a week after my surgery. But by the next day, I felt great and never looked back. The second Monday after surgery, I returned to work. Granted, it’s a desk job, no physical labour required aside from typing into a keyboard. If I had any other kind of a job, I likely would have been off for a month.

I also was back running long distance by September with no change in my energy.

As for scars, if you look really closely, there are two tiny scars on my left side and about a three-inch line well below my navel. If I had my shape from the 1980s, I could easily wear a bikini and no one would be the wiser.

I would like to say it’s because I’m tough, but I’ve read stories by other people who have donated kidneys and my recovery does not appear unique.

So should you donate a kidney? You should at least consider it. If you are a person who spends a lot of time worrying about your health, even though you are healthy, you probably shouldn’t. You will fixate on potential problems and experience stress you don’t need.

But if you are a healthy person who has always had normal blood pressure and you want improve a fellow human being’s life — maybe even save it — the information about live donation is right at your fingertips.

When I do think about my left kidney, I get a warm feeling that I was able to help a family. It makes me smile at times when I am feeling low.

My match regularly sends me a text to thank me. He calls me his angel. His kids wrote letters of thanks. Those are lovely gestures and I am always happy to hear he is doing well.

However, If I had never heard from him again, if he never once said thank you, if he ended up being a person who abused his body because of the disease of addiction, it would not have made me regret my decision.

I gave him a kidney and that’s that. The kidney was his. The decision to donate was mine and I had no expectation or desire for gratitude.

Some people are not able to say thank you for reasons of their own. They don’t make contact and that leaves some donors angry or hurt and second-guessing their decision.

Don’t donate if you expect thanks. Do it because it’s the right thing to do. You have a vital organ that you don’t need and someone else does.

It’s common sense.


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.

Julie Dodds: It’s amazing how much better some things feel already . . . Hockey Canada issues invitations . . . AJHL two weeks from season’s start

JulieFirstNight
Julie Dodds was out of recovery and in her own room on Wednesday night.

How’s Julie?

Just fine, she says.

Julie Dodds of Kamloops, who has a genetic kidney disease, received a kidney during a transplant at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver on Wednesday. The live donor was her younger brother, Jason Brauer, who is from Port McNeill, B.C.

Jason was strolling the hallways on Thursday morning and popped in to visit Julie in her room.

Julie reported that they both were “tired and sore but in good spirits, and honestly it’s amazing how much better some things feel already. Definitely a noticeable difference for me.” She closed her Facebook post with #mylittlebrotheristhebest.

Later in the day, Julie, who was accompanied to Vancouver by her husband, Allan, made the trek to Jason’s room for a visit.

All photos are from Julie and Allan.

JasonVisits
Julie Dodds was on the receiving end of a visit from her brother, Jason, on Thursday.

JulieWalks
Later Thursday, Julie went for a walk down the hallway to visit her brother Jason.


The Canadian national junior team will hold its selection camp in Red Deer starting on Nov. 16 and running through Dec. 13. Hockey Canada announced the Canadanames of the 46 players invited to the camp on Thursday, then later added F Kirby Dach of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks for a total of 47. . . . F Alexis Lafreniere of the NHL’s New York Rangers may yet be added to the roster, too. . . . The selection camp will be closed to the media and public. . . . Hockey Canada hopes to arrange six exhibition games — two each against the U of Alberta, U of Calgary and Mount Royal. Reid Wilkins of 630 CHED in Edmonton reported that Alberta will play Team Canada on Nov. 28 and 29, with the other four games on the first two weekends of December. . . . Chelsea Stewart, one of Hockey Canada’s national team co-ordinators, said players and staff will be tested three days before arriving in Red Deer and every three or four days while in the camp. . . . The 2020 World Junior Championship is to be played in an Edmonton bubble, from Dec. 25 through Jan. 5. Canada’s first game is scheduled for Dec. 26 against Germany. . . . All pre-tournament games (10 of them) and all 28 tournament games will be televised by TSN and RDS. . . . Hockey Canada’s news release from Thursday is right here. . . . The selection camp roster is right here.


The eight QMJHL teams that are based in what the provincial government has qmjhlnewtermed “red zones” didn’t get permission to return to play on Thursday. The league announced that government officials haven’t provided authorization for a resumption of activities. . . . The Blainville-Boisbriand Armada, Chicoutimi Sagueneens, Drummondville Voltigeurs, Gatineau Olympiques, Quebec Remparts, Sherbrooke Phoenix, Shawinigan Cataractes and Victoriaville Tigres all remain in a holding pattern. . . . The other four Quebec-based teams — the Baie-Comeau Drakkar, Rimouski Oceanic, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and Val-d’Or Foreurs — will return to play this weekend. The six Maritimes teams also will be in action. . . . The QMJHL has said that it will reassess its schedule next week, and also is looking into options involving a bubble for the red zone teams.


COVID-19 CHRONICLES . . .

Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, who is likely to be the first selection in the NFL’s 2021 draft, has tested positive. Dabo Swinney, the head coach of the No. 1-ranked Tigers, made the announcement on Thursday with Lawrence’s permission. . . . Lawrence, who according to ACC rules has to isolate for 10 days, won’t play Saturday against visiting Boston College, but could play a week later at Notre Dame. . . . He tested positive on Wednesday, which is when his isolation began. . . .

Former NFLer Desmond Howard, a regular on ESPN’s College Game Day, has tested positive. He tweeted on Thursday that he is “doing okay, but will be doing the show from home this Saturday.” . . .

The Alberta Junior Hockey League announced Thursday that it will begin ajhlplaying regular-season games on Nov. 13. From a news release: “Teams will play within a divisional format composed of a South Division and a North Division. A decision on the annual AJHL Showcase, season-end date, and playoff format will be announced at a later date. . . . Arena capacity limits, social-distancing protocols within the facility, and the ticket sales process will be dictated by the regulations within each community and the respective team. No league passes will be accepted for entry, including all AJHL and CJHL accreditation, until facility capacity limits are significantly increased.” . . .

The six-team Alberta-based Ranchland Hockey League has cancelled its 2020-21 season. The league features senior men’s teams in the Alberta communities of Fort Macleod, Standoff, Lethbridge, Nanton, Brocket and Siksika. . . .


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.

So far, so good, as Julie Dodds’ new kidney gets to work right after transplant . . .

JulieAllen
Julie and Allan Dodds on Wednesday morning, before Julie had her kidney transplant.

Julie Dodds of Kamloops got a new kidney on Wednesday at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. Her husband, Allan, reported early in the evening that all was well.

Julie and Allan have three young boys. She was diagnosed a while back with a genetic kidney disease — Medullary Kidney Disease Type 1. Earlier this year, she was in kidney failure. The good news is that she was able to get a kidney before needing to go on dialysis.

The fact that her brother, Jason Brauer, who is from Port McNeill, was her donor is more good news. Yes, the prognosis, although early, is good.

Here’s a look at Julie’s day, through Allan’s fingers . . .

8 a.m.: Today, choose your own adventure . . . surgery or sleep in. . . . Julie picked a new kidney. I dunno what and when we will have an update, but that’s how we roll. . . . Just gonna rock this and sent pics after.

9 a.m.: Jason’s done. Julie’s turn. Jason doing well . . . Julie is hungry.

5 p.m.: Doctor called. Julie is out and done. . . . Peeing. . . . And doing good!

6 p.m.: Thanks, Jason Brauer. . . . Nurse tries to get his bed in. Hits wall. He’s like, “I’ll walk.” . . . And he walks in. Hahaha!

6:52 p.m.: Haha! My wife rocks. She called from post op. She’s doing good and gonna be a few hours til she moves into the penthouse suite. She’s gonna take a nap. As you were.

The pictures that accompany this are from Julie and Allan, and Whitney Melan, who is Jason’s wife.

Julieenters
Julie enters St. Paul’s Hospital and then heads to the surgical reception desk to begin the process.


Jasonbed
Jason is wheeled to his room at St. Paul’s Hospital after being moved up from recovery. He apparently walked the last few steps to his bed.


Jasonresting
Jason, the hero of today’s exercise, was resting comfortably by Wednesday evening.

A positive ending to World Series . . . OHL looking at February start? . . . QMJHL to get four teams back for weekend

It’s go time for Julie!

This is a big day in the Kamloops kidney community as Julie Dodds, a married

JulieDodds
Julie Dodds is to have a kidney transplant this morning in Vancouver.

mother of three young boys, is scheduled for a transplant this morning at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Early Tuesday afternoon, she posted on Facebook, indicating that everything is fine.

“All the pre-surgical appointments are done and we’re good to go,” she wrote. “(Wednesday) morning the weird magic of swapping body parts happens. . . . Spending the night in the hotel with plans to eat a big, delicious dinner. Fingers crossed for everything to go smoothly, especially for Jason who doesn’t have to be here.”

Her younger brother, Jason, who is from Port McNeill, is to be the live donor, while her husband, Allan, has accompanied her to Vancouver.

Julie hash-tagged her post: mylittlebrotheristhebest. Hard to argue with that.


Kevin Cash, the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, can thank COVID-19 for taking at least some of the heat off him.

Cash made one of the more questionable managerial moves in World Series history on Tuesday night, but a lot of the backlash is going to get lost in a discussion on the role the virus played in Game 6.

Considering the time we are living in, it was, I suppose, only fitting that Justin Turner, the Dodgers’ third baseman, wasn’t around for game’s end. He didn’t come out on defence to start the eighth inning. A reason wasn’t provided until after the game.

It turns out he had tested positive for COVID-19.

However, Turner did join the post-game celebration, going sans mask for a team photo. While wearing a mask, he was hugging teammates and holding the World Series trophy.

Through Monday, MLB had gone 58 consecutive days without a positive test.

So . . . had Tampa Bay won Game 6, when would Game 7 have been played? Sometime in mid-November?

In the meantime, MLB is left to try and explain what all went on here. Or is this just one more example of pandemic-induced stupidity?

——

OK. What do we do now?

The World Series, one that will be talked about for a week or two, is over.

The decision by Kevin Cash, the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, to yank Blake Snell, a Cy Young Award-winning pitcher, in the sixth inning on Tuesday night will be hashed and rehashed, with ‘pure’ baseball fans on one side and analytics people on the other.

Snell was in complete control, having allowed but two hits while striking out nine. Snell, with a 1-0 lead, had thrown 73 pitches. The top of the Dodgers’ order was due up and the top three were 0-for-6 with six strikeouts.

However, Cash didn’t want Snell facing the Dodgers’ lineup a third time. So out came the hook.

Three pitches later, the game was tied. Three more pitches and the Dodgers were leading 2-1 and on their way to a 3-1 victory and the franchise’s first championship since 1988.

Of course, this kind of move has been vintage Cash all season, and it got the Rays into the World Series final. Yeah, but . . .

Meanwhile, the bottom of the ninth inning of Saturday’s Game 4 will be remembered for a while, too. The Rays stole that one from a Los Angeles team, winning 8-7 on a play that included two Dodgers errors. That game featured 13 pitchers, who were touched for 25 hits and nine walks, resulting in this headline in the Los Angeles Times: Rocky Pitcher Horror Show.

But, seriously, what do we do now?

No more baseball. No more NBA. No more NHL. And who knows when we will see them again?

We are left with football. But after the menu we have had to choose from for the last two or three months how will we cope?

Well, there’s always that cribbage board in the closet. Might be a Scrabble game in there, too.


X-ray


The OHL, which had been aiming for a Dec. 1 start to its regular season, is expected to announce this week that the date has been bumped to Feb. 4. . . . Darren Dreger of TSN tweeted that general managers are to meet virtually, with an eventual announcement to include a Jan. 25 start to training camps. “Eight-team playoff also expected to be unveiled,” Dreger tweeted.


If we have learned anything over the last while, it is that (a) everything is qmjhlnewalways in a state of fluidity, and (b) games will be played when the virus permits it. . . . On Monday, there was speculation that the QMJHL’s Quebec-based teams might remain sidelined into December. That changed on Tuesday, though, and now four of those teams are poised to return to action this weekend. The Baie-Comeau Drakkar, Rimouski Oceanic, Rouyn-Noranda Huskies and Val-d’Or Foreurs each are to play two games. They are located in what the province has declared yellow and orange zones, so have the OK for games. . . . The QMJHL continues discussions with health officials on the status of those teams located in red zones. At the same time, the QMJHL said that players and staff with the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and Sherbrooke Phoenix, teams that have had at least 26 positives tests between them, continue to be tested. . . . The Drummondville Voltigeurs also have experience positives, reportedly at least five, and the QMJHL said that their “activities remain suspended until further notice.”


Apple


COVID-19 CHRONICLES . . .

The NFL administered 42,687 tests to players and team personnel from Oct. 18-24. The league revealed that there were eight “new confirmed” positives among players and 11 among other personnel. . . . Since Aug. 1, the NFL says it has administered more than 500,000 tests, with 55 players and 82 others testing positive. . . .

The men’s basketball program at the U of California, Berkley, is on pause after a player tested positive. Things will be shut down for up to two weeks. The player wasn’t identified and is said to be asymptomatic. . . .

Soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has tested positive again so may not play for Juventus against Lionel Messi and Barcelona on Wednesday in a UEFA Champions League game. Ronaldo tested positive for the first time on Oct. 14 while with Portugal’s national team. He then tested positive again at some point last week. . . .

QB Graham Mertz of the Wisconsin Badgers has tested positive a second time, so, according to Big Ten protocol, will be sidelined for 21 days. A red-shirt freshman, he led the Badgers to a 45-7 victory over Illinois on Friday night. . . . Backup Chase Wolf also is reported to have tested positive and is awaiting confirmation. . . . The Badgers are to play at Nebraska on Saturday.


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 Trinity Western Spartans will play host to the Captains Cup, a three-team tournament that is to start on Nov. 12. It also will feature the UBC Thunderbirds and Simon Fraser U. The double round-robin tournament, featuring afternoon start times, will end with a Dec. 2 final. All games will be played at the George Preston Recreation Centre in Langley, B.C. With fans not being allowed, all games will be streamed free at www.YouTube.com/SpartansSID. . . . The AJHL has extended its exhibition season through Nov. 8. . . . The SJHL released its regular-season schedule on Tuesday. It will open on Nov. 6 and run through April 3. . . . Reid Coleman is the new head coach of the junior B Nanaimo Buccaneers of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League. He replaces James Gaertner, who left to join the BCHL’s Cowichan Capitals as an assistant coach. The Buccaneers also added Spencer Deakin as associate coach.


Info

It will be Halloween to remember for Dodds family . . . Wife/mother has date with transplant team . . . Younger brother will give her a kidney

I’m sure we all can use some good news. Right?

OK. Here you go . . .

The team at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver has scheduled Julie Dodds of Kamloops for a kidney transplant on Oct. 28.

Julie, a married mother of three, has a genetic kidney disease that has progressed to the point where she is in kidney failure, meaning the next necessary step is dialysis or transplant.

JulieJason
Julie Dodds with her younger brother Jason, who will be giving her a life-saving kidney on Oct. 28. (Photo: Allan Dodds)

Fortunately for Julie, she will be having a transplant before going on dialysis, which is a best-case scenario.

Julie’s husband, Allan, said that “we were fortunate enough to have three amazing people matched for Julie.”

In what Allan said is “a storyline made for the movies,” Julie’s younger brother, Jason, who is from Port McNeill, B.C., has cleared the testing process and has been approved as the living donor.

According to Allan, Julie and Jason underwent COVID-19 testing on Tuesday and now are in pre-surgery quarantine.

Allan added: “We go to Vancouver week of Halloween. Surgery is booked for Oct 28.”

As Allan pointed out, it’s into the world of the unknown after that.

“How long at the hospital? How long recovery?” he noted. “Accommodations are booked for both and we are onto the next chapter.”

As for Julie, on Tuesday night she told me that “we’re excited . . . though a bit nervous and I’m sad to be away from the kids for so long but I know it’ll all work out!”

With luck, Julie will be back home in time for Christmas, with her boys serving her breakfast in bed.


It was on July 6, 2019, when Stevie Wonder told his audience during a show at Hyde Park in London that he needed a kidney transplant. There was a lot written about it at the time, but then the story faded away to nothing.

Until Tuesday when Wonder, who is releasing two new songs, held a virtual news conference. It turns out that he has been living with a transplanted kidney for more than 10 months.

“I was blessed with a new kidney and that happened on Dec. 6, 2019 . . . I feel great. My voice feels great,” Wonder said. “I told my daughter Aisha, ‘I’m going to be like five years younger than you now. I’m going from being 70 to being 40.’ I feel like I’m about 40 right now. I’m feeling great.”

The two songs — Where Is Our Love Song and Can’t Put It in the Hands of Fate — represent Wonder’s first new music in 15 years.


Cheryl Castellani of Hammonds Plains, N.S., first found out she had polycystic kidney disease (PKD) about 30 years ago. Earlier this year, her kidney function slid to 11 per cent, so it was time for — hopefully — a transplant. Fortunately, her younger sister, Heather Blouin, was a match and the transplant occurred on July 23 in Halifax. . . . After the surgery, who is from Grand River, P.E.I., and Castellani went their separate ways. . . . They had a rather joyous reunion on Thanksgiving weekend. . . . Sheehan Desjardins of CBC has more 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.