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 email@example.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.
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.
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.
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.