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.

The big coverup: Wear a mask! . . . White Sox’ fan comes to the rescue . . . Robot removes two kidneys, inserts one


Zach16


Bridgett Kolls is a fan of the Chicago Cubs. Kolls, 23, also needed a new kidney.

Thomas Alessio, 32, is a fan of the Chicago White Sox, so you wouldn’t think that this would be a match made in transplant heaven. Right.

Well, you would be wrong.

In May 2019, Kolls went to a Cubs game and took along a poster on which was printed “This li’l Cubs fan needs a kidney” and a phone number.

The Cubs’ social media team took her photo and put it on Twitter, which is where Alessio saw it.

The rest, as they say, is transplant history.

Genevieve Bookwalter of the Chicago Tribune has the complete story right here. It’s a great read, especially if you are in need of a transplant or are thinking of being a live donor.


Vic2


There have been a couple of really interesting developments of late in the world of kidney transplants. . . . Surgeons at the University of Illinois Hospital-Chicago have performed what a news release describes as “the world’s first robotic-assisted double-kidney removal followed immediately by a living-donor kidney transplant in a patient with severe polycystic kidney disease.” The surgery was performed on Christopher Adamsick, 50, of Yorkville, Ill., who had both of his diseased kidneys removed and a donor kidney transplanted. . . . Dr. Pier Giulianotti, the lead surgeon, called it “a first-of-its-kind procedure that normally requires open, invasive surgery and a very large incision.” . . . That story is right here.

Meanwhile, in the Nevada desert, two September drone flights successfully delivered human organs for transplant. . . . Yahoo News reports that “one of the flights was the longest organ delivery flight on an unmanned aircraft ever.” . . . One drone flight delivered corneas, with the other moving a kidney. . . . If you are interested in how this all was put together and how the flights went, there are photos and more right here.


juliescreengrab





Mike


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.

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.






Kamloops wife/mother of three needs kidney . . . Husband starts GoFundMe page

JulieDodds
Julie Dodds is in need of a kidney transplant. Are you able to help?

 

More than a year has come and gone since I wrote about Julie Dodds, a mother of three young boys and a Kamloops resident.

She had just revealed that she has a genetic kidney disease — Medullary Kidney Disease Type 1 — and had reached Stage 4. That is the last stage before a person enters kidney failure.

At that time, she wrote: “My kidneys are failing and I need a LIVING KIDNEY DONOR to have the best chance at life.

“I understand that this is a huge request, but for myself, for my husband, who wants nothing other than to be able to save me from all of this, for my three boys, who still need their mom to be present and healthy in their lives, it would mean absolutely everything.”

She also added this:

“WILL YOU HELP?

  • Any healthy adult can donate one of their kidneys — and, thanks to paired kidney exchange, you don’t have to be a blood-type match to the recipient!
  • You only need one kidney to live a healthy, long life.
  • Most donor surgery is done laparoscopically, meaning through tiny incisions.
  • The recuperation period is usually fairly quick, generally two weeks after 1-2 days in hospital.
  • The donor will have a separate team of healthcare professionals to evaluate her/him as a living donor. Their job is to help you understand the risks and benefits and look out for YOUR best interests.”

——

One of the important numbers to those with kidney disease is the glomerular filtration rate (GFR), something that is found via a blood test. According to the National Kidney Foundation, if your GFR is between 29 and 15, you are in Stage 4. If it slips below that, you are in kidney failure and closing in on dialysis, either peritoneal or hemo.

Today, that is where Julie finds herself.

Allan, Julie’s husband, now has started a GoFundMe page on which he reports that Julie’s GFR is at 13. “Over time,” he writes, “her kidney disease has gotten worse, causing her kidneys not to work well enough to keep her alive. . . . With such a lower function, Julie continues to try and be Super Mom/friend, but energy levels are now a struggle to keep up to her level of Mom-hood.”

In a perfect world, a kidney from a live donor will be found for her before she has to go on dialysis.

In the meantime, that GoFundMe page is right here. Included is a look at the various expenses that Allan is hoping to be able to cover via donations to the page.

——

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: ‘Getting down to crunch time . . . Honestly, it’s pretty scary’ . . . She needs a kidney. Are you able to help?

When you are living with kidney disease and are waiting and hoping for a transplant, it oftentimes can feel like time is running out.

While trying to get through your daily life, you have the spectre of dialysis hanging over your head. You know that the best-case scenario for you is a transplant before you need dialysis, and all the time you know that if that doesn’t happen you will end up on dialysis.

That is what’s going through your mind in what used to be ‘normal’ times. These days, the pandemic adds even more stress to your life.

That’s the situation in which Julie Dodds of Kamloops finds herself. She has a genetic kidney disease — Medullary Kidney Disease Type 1. In August, she turned to Facebook as she began a search for a living donor. She and her family — she is married with three young sons — have yet to find that donor. And she is moving ever closer to dialysis.

Here are some of her thoughts from a Facebook posting on Saturday:

“Getting down to crunch time. My kidney function as of (Friday) has my GFR at 16. That means I’m going to get the ‘what type of dialysis do you want’ talk very soon.

“This pandemic obviously shut down all the donor testing for a couple months but happily it’s been starting back up and I have a virtual appointment with the Vancouver doctors in a couple weeks.

“I don’t know the state of donors or matching. I don’t know if I’m going to last long enough to get a kidney match before having to do dialysis. I don’t know if COVID-19 is going to flare up again enough to shut it all down again. Honestly, it’s pretty scary to think about doing dialysis and where things are gonna go in the next few months.

“Thank you to everyone who is frequently checking in on me. I feel tired, achy and occasionally stressed, but most of the time life is just going on as normal.

“Trying to imagine what life is going to look like in the next year is a bit much so taking it one little step at a time.”

Julie’s GFR (glomerular filtration rate) of 16 means that she has Stage 4 kidney disease. If your GFR falls to between 30 and 15, it’s Stage 4 and a transplant or dialysis is looming. When the GFR slides below 15, the person has kidney failure and it’s time for a transplant or dialysis — either hemodialysis or peritoneal. In adults, a normal GFR would be 90 or higher, although between 89 and 60 can be seen as normal in some people, especially those over 60 years of age.


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


There is some good news for people in B.C. who are awaiting kidney transplants.

Michael Coyle of Coquitlam underwent a transplant on Friday in Vancouver.

Coyle, who has polycystic kidney disease, had a date set prior to the pandemic coming along, and kept waiting for it to be postponed because of the pandemic. In the end, it was postponed — but only for one day.

Coyle has been with Coquitlam Search and Rescue for 20 years. His donor, Jody, is the wife of another SAR member. 

Monika Gul and Lisa Steacy of News 1130 in Vancouver have more on Coyle right here.

Three months ago, Coyle told his story to the Tri-City News and, if you haven’t seen it, it’s really worth a read. It’s all right here.


Elsa and Robert Garza share the same birthday in the same year. They were born in the same hospital. Now he has given her a kidney in a transplant that was done before Elsa had to go on dialysis. . . . There’s more in a story right here from ABC-7 in Austin, Texas.

On Friday, Zack Hedrick posted this on Facebook:

“Got an update that Robert and Elsa Garza’s kidney transplant surgery went well!! Both are stable and recovering!

“Robert donated one of his kidneys to Elsa, who was close to going on dialysis because of an autoimmune disease which attacked her kidneys. Elsa was in stage 5 renal failure.

Their surgery was delayed a couple months due to COVID-19, but went off without a hitch earlier this morning!”


With our annual Kidney Walk having been cancelled, my wife, Dorothy, is raising funds in support of a ‘virtual’ walk that is scheduled for June 7. All money raised goes to help folks who are dealing with kidney disease. . . . You are able to join Dorothy’s team while putting a smile on her face by making a donation right here. . . . Thank you.



Getting flu shot not about you . . . Some thoughts on being living kidney donor

Every time I see people on social media making mention of how they haven’t had the flu in 1,000 years and have never had a flu shot, well, my blood boils and smoke comes out my ears.

People, people, people. This isn’t about you not getting the flu. A flu shot is to help prevent you, who may be a carrier, from passing it along to someone else, like maybe a transplant recipient who has a suppressed immune system because of the anti-rejection medications that they must take, or maybe a senior citizen — perhaps your own grandmother or grandfather — whose immune system isn’t strong enough to reject a flu bug.

Please, please, please . . . a flu shot isn’t about you; it’s about other people in your community.

Get your flu shot!


There were a couple of things that really jumped out at me when I read the report on organ transplantation in 2018 that was released Thursday by the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI).

Using data from the Canadian Organ Replacement Register, the report included: “There were 40,289 Canadians (excluding Quebec) living with end-stage kidney disease at the end of 2018, an increase of 35 per cent since 2009.”

An increase of 35 per cent in 10 years means that today there will be even more people living with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

That number — 40,289 — jumped off the page when I first read it.

The other note that really hit hard was this: “(In 2018), there were 555 living donors (people who donated a kidney or a lobe of liver) and 762 deceased donors in Canada. The number of deceased donors increased by 56 per cent between 2009 and 2018, whereas the number of living donors remained stable.”

I was more than a little surprised to read the “the number of living donors remained stable.”

More and more people are being impacted by CKD, and everyone needs to realize that there isn’t a cure for it. Once someone is diagnosed with kidney disease, that’s it . . . it’s there and it isn’t going anywhere.

At some point there will dialysis and, hopefully, a transplant.

There are two ways to get a kidney via transplant — from a deceased donor or from a live donor.

The best option, of course, is from a live donor, and people need to understand that you can make sure a recipient gets a kidney even if you don’t have the same blood type.

I am aware of a number of people in Kamloops who are waiting and hoping for transplants — like Julie Dodds, who was featured on CFJC-TV on Thursday; like Vic Morin and John Casey, both of whom are regulars at Kamloops Kidney Support Group meetings; like Ferris Backmeyer, who isn’t yet three years of age but is on dialysis for about 12 hours a day, every day of the year. There’s also Zach Tremblay, a 16-year-old from Robson, B.C., who continues to wait for the phone call.

Let’s say that you are a friend of Julie’s and would love to help, but you aren’t the same blood type. That being the case, you might still be able to give your kidney to someone else — yes, it might even be a complete stranger — while Julie would get a kidney from another person, who might be another stranger.

That is how the Living Kidney Donor Program works — aka Live Donor Exchange Program.

That is exactly how Dorothy, my wife, got her new kidney on Sept. 23, 2013. Her best friend was adamant that she wanted to give a kidney to Dorothy. However, the friend wasn’t a match. Both names went into the exchange program and in time matches were found and transplants were done.

If you are interested in more information, here you go:

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

——

Sam Thompson of Global News has more right here on the CIHI report. He spoke with Dr. Faisal Siddiqui of Transplant Manitoba, who told him that there still is a stigma when it comes to families talking about death and organ donation. “It’s a human nature aspect,” Dr. Siddiqui said, “that we just don’t like sitting around the kitchen table and saying, ‘when I die, this is what I want out of life, or what I want for me.’ ” . . . Dr. Siddiqui also explained that not everyone is able to be an organ donor. . . . That complete story is right here.


I have written here previously on the story involving Catherine Pearlman, and Monica and Eli Valdez. You may recall that Catherine was in a Los Angeles-area coffee shop one day when she saw a flyer that had been placed there by Monica, whose husband, Eli, needed a kidney. . . . Yes, Catherine ended up donating a kidney. . . . If you click right here, you will find a video in which the three of them tell their story. It’s worth the three-plus minutes to give it a watch. (Full disclosure: The video was put together by Hyundai, but it isn’t a commercial. Catherine drives a Hyundai. Oh, so do I.)

BTW, I am aware of two similar stories right here in Kamloops, both of which involve women who each gave a kidney to strangers. Susan Duncan’s story is right here, while Cheryl Vosburgh’s can be found right here.

Kamloops woman looks for kidney as CIHI reports transplants are up but people are dying on waiting lists

Chad Klassen of CFJC-TV stopped by our home on Thursday as he worked on a story involving local reaction to a report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

Chad spoke with Dorothy, my wife who had a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013. As you will see by watching his story right here, he also chatted with Julie Dodds of Kamloops.

Julie has a genetic kidney disease — Medullary Kidney Disease Type 1 — and has reached Stage 4 kidney failure. She needs a kidney and is hoping to get one before she has to go on dialysis.

I told her story right here early in August.

——

The Canadian Institute for Health Information issued a report on Thursday that indicates there were 2,782 organ transplants performed in Canada in 2018.

According to the report, which showed a 33 per cent increase in transplants since 2009, the first of 10 years covered here:

“At the end of 2018, there were 4,351 people on wait lists for organ transplants (2,890 active and 1,461 on hold). Additionally, 223 people died that year while on a wait list for an organ transplant.

“The increased need for organ transplantation is in part being driven by the rising rate of Canadians living with end-stage kidney disease, which went up 32 per cent over the 10 years studied.”

Greg Webster, the CIHI’s director of acute and ambulatory care information services, pointed out that “more than 4,000 Canadians are still on a waiting list for a transplant, and many die each year while waiting.

“We know that organ transplants save lives. For most organs, patient survival is greater than 80 per cent after five years.”

Also from the report: “(In 2018), there were 555 living donors (people who donated a kidney or a lobe of liver) and 762 deceased donors in Canada. The number of deceased donors increased by 56 per cent between 2009 and 2018, whereas the number of living donors remained stable.”

Some highlights from the report:

Kidneys (1,706) and livers (533) were the top organs transplanted, followed by lungs (361), hearts (189) and pancreases (57).

As of Dec. 31, 2018, more patients were on wait lists for kidneys (3,150) and livers (527), compared with lungs (270), hearts (157) and pancreases (156).

Of the 762 deceased organ donors, 60 per cent were male. Of the 555 living organ donors, 63 per cent were female.

For deceased donors, the average number of organs used for transplantation was three for all donors and 4 for donors ages 39 and younger.

The complete report is available right here.



2019 Kidney Walk: Wet day can’t douse spirits. . . . Goal surpassed. . . . Stop thief!

Registration
A Kidney Foundation information booth (back left) was set up at Sunday’s Kidney Walk, while beneath the Lordco canopy you were able to find merchandise after first checking in at the registration table. (Photo: Murray Mitchell/Murray Mitchell Photography)

We awoke Sunday to cool weather (12 C) and showers.

The cool wasn’t a problem because warm weather and people with kidney disease aren’t a good match.

But the drizzle . . .

KWlogo2Well, if you have been, or are being, impacted by kidney disease, what’s a little rain? Right?

And so it was that more than 100 people were at McDonald Park on Kamloops’ North Shore on Sunday for the city’s 10th annual Kidney Walk.

Not all of them took part in the walk, which always follows Rivers Trail for more than one kilometre to McArthur Island, but they all were there to show support to people in our community who are dealing with kidney disease or to remember friends and loved ones.

Larry1
Larry Read, the Kidney Walk’s emcee, kept folks informed and everything on time. (Photo: Murray Mitchell/Murray Mitchell Photography)

We couldn’t have done it without Larry Read, the sports information guru for the WolfPack at Thompson Rivers U. He is our emcee, and he brought along six athletes from the WolfPack swim team and, oh boy, what a big help they were. This wasn’t the first time Larry brought volunteers from TRU, and it is a tremendously positive feeling to see these young people so eager to help at an event like this one.

With Larry at the controls, we saluted Hugh McLennan and Louis (Big Rig) McIvor as the honourees for the 2019 Walk. Hugh, a rancher, is the host of the Spirit of the West podcast and a familiar figure in the cowboy world in Alberta and B.C. When he needed a kidney almost two years ago, he got

HughLouis2
Hugh McLennan (left) and Louis (Big Rig) McIvor, the honourees of Kamloops’ 2019 Kidney Walk, address the crowd. (Photo: Murray Mitchell/Murray Mitchell Photography)

one from Big Rig, a long-time friend who is a former long-haul driver and radio personality.

They were introduced by Edna Humphreys, the executive director of the Kamloops chapter of the B.C. and Yukon Branch of the Kidney Foundation of Canada. Hey, if there’s a renal-related event in Kamloops, you can bet that Edna is the push behind it.

We went into this walk with a goal of raising $20,000. By the time the counting is done, we will be somewhere around $24,000, which is unbelievable. In all of our pre-walk chatter, I don’t once remember anything close to that figure being mentioned.

In 2018, we raised $21,764, after bringing in $16,736 in 2017.

——

Allanmoney
Allan Dodds (right) returns money that had been lifted from the Brock Central Lions Club’ breakfast table on Sunday. (Photo: Murray Mitchell/Murray Mitchell Photography)

There was some excitement late in the program, too.

The Brock Central Lions Club was there, again, to provide us with a pancake breakfast, along with sausages and coffee, all by donation.

So with most of the folks already eating and a few in line to fill their plates, a cry went up: “Stop her! Stop her! She took the money box.!!”

It seems that a person had appeared on the scene, got in line for breakfast, then grabbed the cash box and took off on the run.

However, her plan hadn’t accounted for Allan Dodds, who when he isn’t playing Superman works at Lordco in Kamloops. His connection with us? His wife, Julie, has kidney disease and is in need of a transplant.

Anyway . . . Allan took off after the thief, caught up with her and brought back the money.

As Julie wrote on her Facebook page: “My husband not only helped set up . . . and with the delivery of chairs and tables, he helped present a large cheque, and also chased down a would-be thief.”

In the end, the Lions Club raised $326.90, all of which, thanks to Allan, was there to be donated to the Kidney Walk.

If we were to give out an MVP award this year, it would go to Allan. As a member of the Southern Central B.C. branch of the CIM (Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum), he presented the Kidney Walk with a cheque for $5,000 in late August.

Through Lordco, he was able to provide us with a truck with which he picked up tables and chairs from the good folks at TRU. He also supplied, again through Lordco, a large canopy that really came in handy considering the weather.

And, of course, he topped it all off by jumping into a phone booth — OK, there aren’t any of those these days; he just went behind the Lordco truck — where he donned the Superman suit and went on to rescue the money.

Thanks, Allan!

——

DorothyLeona
Dorothy Drinnan (right) and friend Leona Backman enjoy a rainy time during Sunday’s Kidney Walk. (Photo: Murray Mitchell/Murray Mitchell Photography)

Dorothy says: Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!!

With help from so many of you, she was able to raise $3,230 for Kamloops’ 10th annual Kidney Walk, which was held on Sunday morning.

With such great support from so many terrific people, she was the leading fund-raiser for a sixth straight year, and she now has raised more than $16,000 in total.


Dodds
Julie Dodds (in red jacket) has kidney disease and is in need of a transplant. She poses with friends and family, all of whom were there to support her at Sunday’s Kidney Walk. (Photo: Murray Mitchell/Murray Mitchell Photography)

 

DOG
Not all of the participants in Sunday’s Kidney Walk were of the human variety. This pooch got into the spirit of things by donning a Kidney Walk t-shirt, too. (Photo: Murray Mitchell/Murray Mitchell Photography)

Details of 2019 Kamloops Kidney Walk to be announced today . . .

If you are in the vicinity of downtown Kamloops this afternoon (Monday, Aug. 19), feel free to join organizers of the 2019 Kamloops Kidney Walk for a news conference at St. Andrews on the Square, 159 Seymour St.

We will be announcing details of the 2019 Walk, introducing this year’s honourees, and accepting the largest single donation in the event’s 10-year history.

It all starts at 2 p.m.



Just in case you missed them, here are stories about two people who live in Kamloops, both in need of a kidney transplant.

Vic Morin was profiled by Todd Sullivan of Kamloops This Week in March, and that story is right here.

Julie Dodds went public earlier this month through a post on Facebook, after which Eric Thompson of kamloopsmatters.com wrote a story that is right here.



A major story involving adult lung transplants broke late last week in Vancouver where a machine has been developed that, according to a news release, “allows lungs to live outside the body for up to 12 hours after retrieval.” . . . The news release continues: “Lungs that might initially be rejected for transplant can be reassessed, repaired and reconditioned in a bubble-like machine.” . . . This is absolutely huge news for the 40 adults waiting for transplants in B.C. . . . The complete news release is right here.

Julie Dodds searching for kidney donor. . . . Turns to Facebook. . . . Husband builds website to help

Unless you have experienced it, you don’t have any idea how hard it is, how much courage it takes, to ask someone for one of their kidneys.

Seriously.

This isn’t like asking someone — friend or family — for $20, or to borrow a book or a lawn mower from a neighbour.

No.

JulieScreenGrab
A screen grab from the website that Allan Dodds has created for his wife, Julie, to help in her search for a kidney. The website is at youdontneedtwo.com.

You are asking someone, maybe even a stranger, to take some time out of their life and to give you one of their internal organs.

Believe it or not, one of the things you have to deal with before you get to the asking stage is denial.

First, you are in denial that you have kidney disease.

Once you admit to yourself that, yes, you have kidney disease, you go into denial again because you just know that things aren’t as bad as the nephrologists are telling you. Surely, you think, someone misread one or two tests . . . or 12 or 14.

By now you are feeling fatigue, but you tell yourself that it will go away.

But it doesn’t. It lingers and, in fact, gets worse.

And now you’re told that you have Stage 4 kidney disease.

How do I know this? Because my wife, Dorothy, went through all of this before she had a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013.

She had been born with one kidney, but that wasn’t discovered until she was 29 years of age. Years later, when the time came to go on dialysis (she did peritoneal dialysis for almost four years), she went through all the stages of denial. When it came to asking family members or friends for a kidney, she found it extremely hard because she didn’t want to burden anyone with her problems.

Julie Dodds of Kamloops has experienced all of that, but, like Dorothy, reality has set in.

Dorothy and I had coffee with Julie’s husband, Allan, last week, so I knew a bit about Julie’s situation. On Tuesday, Julie turned to Facebook in the hopes of finding a donor.

She wrote:

So the day has come . . .

Many of you already know, but it may still be news to some — I suffer from a genetic kidney disease called Medullary Kidney Disease Type 1, and have reached Stage 4

JulieDodds
JULIE DODDS

kidney failure. My kidneys are failing and I need a LIVING KIDNEY DONOR to have the best chance at life.

I understand that this is a huge request, but for myself, for my husband, who wants nothing other than to be able to save me from all of this, for my three boys, who still need their mom to be present and healthy in their lives, it would mean absolutely everything.

The unknown — what will my life look like? — has been very stressful, but the outlook for a living donor transplant is my best-case scenario, hands down.

WILL YOU HELP?

• Any healthy adult can donate one of their kidneys — and, thanks to paired kidney exchange, you don’t have to be a blood-type match to the recipient!

• You only need one kidney to live a healthy, long life.

• Most donor surgery is done laparoscopically, meaning through tiny incisions.

• The recuperation period is usually fairly quick, generally two weeks after 1-2 days in hospital.

• The donor will have a separate team of healthcare professionals to evaluate her/him as a living donor. Their job is to help you understand the risks and benefits and look out for YOUR best interests.

I am listed at the St. Paul’s Hospital living donor program at 604-806-9027, or you can go to the BC Transplant website (www.transplant.bc.ca) for more information. Should you choose to call and say you are interested in donating to me, you are under no obligation and can back away at any point.

Please feel free to ask any questions and follow along on this journey. Your support will mean so much to our family.

Also, please share this . . . you never know who this will reach and could be my person!

Thank you.

Julie and family.

——

A few notes about Stage 4 chronic kidney disease (CKD) . . .

The key number to people with kidney disease is the glomerular filtration rate (GFR). If you are in the company of people with CKD, you often will hear them ask: “What are you at?” In other words, “What’s your GFR?”

Those with kidney disease have their blood checked regularly, which is how the GFR is found.

Once a person’s GFR slips to between 30 and 15, they are in Stage 4, which means that a kidney transplant or dialysis (hemo- or peritoneal) is looming.

When the GFR falls below 15, the person has kidney failure, and it’s time for dialysis or a transplant.

——

If you need a kidney transplant, the best you can hope for is a living donor who is a sibling.

Failing that, you are able to enter the Living Donor Paired Exchange Registry. By doing that, you are hoping to find someone who is a match and willing to give you a kidney.

In the end, Dorothy got a kidney through that program. Her best friend was eager — yes, eager — to donate a kidney, but she wasn’t a match. Through the Paired Exchange, she agreed to donate a kidney to someone, but only if Dorothy got one from someone else. That’s exactly what happened.

To this day, we don’t know who gave Dorothy a kidney, nor do we know who got the friend’s kidney.

—-

If you are contemplating being a donor, it’s worth keeping in mind that you will have to undergo a battery of tests before you are selected. During these tests, if you are found to have any medical issues, you will be able to get treatment. While that likely would end your chances of being a donor, it just might lengthen your life expectancy.

Should you end up being a donor, doctors will tell you that were something to go wrong with your remaining kidney, you would go to the top of the waiting list for a transplant.

If you are at all interested in helping Julie, call the number at St. Paul’s Hospital. Do some research. Learn about the kidneys — how and why they function.

And always remember that, as Julie mentioned, you aren’t under any obligation and are able to change your mind at any time.

——

Julie’s husband, Allan, has a website up and running, too. It is called You Don’t Need Two, and you will find it right here.