Roberts loving her new life after transplant . . . Cypress’ new kidney “doing incredibly well” . . .

Have you ever wondered what life is like for a child before and after a kidney transplant?

Kathleen Roberts knows all about it; she’s 19 now and had a transplant four years ago at BC Children’s Hospital.

“Before the transplant,” she says, “I was going to BC Children’s every few months. I was just sick. I slept 16 to 18 hours a day. I had no appetite. I was 82 pounds and five feet tall. I was severely underweight and severely nauseous. The transplant made a huge difference. I have a normal appetite and I’m not sleeping the day away anymore.”

Take a few minutes and read her story, which is right here.

Cypress Roed, an eight-year-old from Harrison Hot Springs, B.C., continues to make progress after undergoing a kidney transplant on Oct. 24 at BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

Her mother, Chantelle Deley, told me in an email earlier this week that “Cypress is doing well for the most part. She is finally in remission!”

Early on, Cypress had been diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, something that damages the kidneys and prevents the filtering of protein from the urine.

The recovery process hasn’t been without a speed bump or two, the latest of which has been having to deal with migraines. Cypress was back in hospital late last week because the migraines were causing severe nausea.

But, as Chantelle wrote,“she is in remission and that’s a major positive.”

It’s important to note that the new kidney “is doing incredibly well.”

“She is amazingly strong,” Chantelle said of her daughter.

Dorothy, my wife, had some health issues six weeks or so after her transplant and spent most of December 2013 in hospital dealing with them. But, as with Cypress, the new kidney just kept doing its job. Hopefully, that continues with Cypress, who is preparing to spend her third straight Christmas away from home.

Cypress is to turn nine on Jan. 22. Her dream has been to celebrate by going swimming. Here’s hoping she is able to make a big splash.

This was posted on a blog called Andrew Kai’s Adventure in Liverland. It was written by his mother:

“I wrote this in the waiting room after Kai coded. They brought him back 3 times before rushing him to the operating room. The plan was to open him up and remove the bad liver to buy him some time. The new liver was only 4 hours away. He had held on at the top of the list for 2 days. He was first in line for a liver and didn’t get one in time.

“I really believed he would make it. I pushed all the doubts out. I kept saying this over and over to myself, I knew my baby was strong and I had to believe for him.”

The post included a photo of a note on which was written:

“Pieces of me are in you

“Pieces of you are in me

“I am here

“You are here

“Kai will live!!!!”

Below the note was a small stone with a heart etched into it.

Kai’s mother continued:

“The heart stone is what they gave to me, and one to him, so that we would have something to connect us when I had to say goodbye the last time. I placed it over his heart and I haven’t put my stone down since I left him.

“HE WOULD HAVE LIVED IF HE HAD A NEW LIVER. Even if it had been just a few hours earlier.


Andrew Kai George was born on April 23, 2019. Without a new liver, he died on Dec. 2, 2019, in Indianapolis, Ind.

Got a car you would like to donate to a good cause? . . . B.C. Children’s Hospital has reason to celebrate

Are you aware that you can donate your car, truck or boat to benefit people in Canada who are living with kidney disease?

Seriously. You are able to do that.

From “We take vehicles of any age or condition! Vehicles donated to Kidney Car can be recycled or sold, depending on the region. If you have an old, broken down vehicle in your driveway or garage that you need to get rid of, call Kidney Car today!”

As it says on the site, “You’ll get a FREE tow, tax receipt and the great feeling that you’ve helped the environment and people living with kidney disease across Canada.”

If you are interested, check right here to see if the program is available in your area. If you are wanting more information, it’s all available right here, including an online donation form.

Say “hello” to Jeremy Wikkerink, the recipient of the 300th kidney transplant at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver. Jeremy, 5, is from Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island and had been doing dialysis for as much as 12 hours per day before the transplant.

Celebrating 40 years with a donated kidney . . . More important news from the Cleveland Clinic

These are the kind of stories we like to read. . . . Tom Mitrovski of Toronto is 72 now. There was a time when he never thought he would see 50.

He underwent a kidney transplant on Nov. 27, 1979, thinking then that he had five to 10 years left. . . . Tom Hayes of Global News has the story right here.

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic have successfully performed a laparoscopic liver transplant, the second time such an operation has been done in the U.S. . . . Chris Cantergiani of WKYC has more right here, and there is a lot of interesting stuff in the story.

Earlier this year, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic performed the first robotic single-port kidney transplant, doing it all through one small abdominal incision. There’s more on that story right here.

McLennan celebrates two years with friend’s kidney . . . Kamloops woman finally gets her transplant

Two years ago, Hugh McLennan (second from left) and Louis (Big Rig) McIvor were roaming the halls at Vancouver General Hospital, along with Hugh’s wife, Billie. The big question: Where in the big city did they tie up their horses? (Photo: Hugh McLennan/Facebook)

Happy anniversary to Hugh McLennan, who has been living for two years with a transplanted kidney, courtesy of his good friend Louis (Big Rig) McIvor.

Here’s what Hugh wrote on his Facebook page on Saturday:

“Two years ago (Friday) this guy gave me one of his kidneys! We’re both doing fine and we’d encourage you to look into being an organ donor and if you know someone on dialysis look into getting tested as a living donor.”

Now that is really sound advice.

Hugh and his wife, Billie, own and operate a ranch near Pinantan Lake, just outside of Kamloops.

Best wishes to Melissa Wells of Kamloops, who underwent a kidney transplant on Nov. 9.

Melissa has a kidney disease — Type 3 Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis (MPGN) — that resulted in kidney failure. She spent more than six years waiting for a transplant, all the while doing dialysis.

In July, her husband, Marty, wrote:

“She’s been through countless failed surgeries, successful surgeries, and even had a direct line put into her heart just so she was able to get treatment to stay alive.”

Marty also added something that, with all that Dorothy has been through, I think of regularly. It has to do with the number of people walking around who live with kidney disease but don’t give any appearance of being ill.

“If you saw Melissa today she would seem totally normal,” Marty wrote in July. “She goes about her daily life — visiting family, hanging out with friends, going shopping. What you don’t see is her strength. She fights through constant headaches, nausea, fatigue, shooting pains through her arm, and overall pain of having major organ failure. The constant needling of her arm almost every day and the perpetual surgeries she has to deal with in Kamloops, Kelowna, and Vancouver are exhausting and expensive.”

The good news is that Melissa has a new kidney now. Here’s hoping that all goes well.

What happens when an organ or organs come available for transplant? How quickly does the window of opportunity close? When there is a death, how many organs might be available for transplant? What about tissue, corneas, etc.? . . . Shawn Logan of Postmedia has an excellent look at all of that and a whole lot more right here.

Susan Bell and Dorothy Stewart of CBC News have produced a story that includes Colleen Atsynia, a single mother of five.

According to the story, she “was in her mid-40’s when kidney disease forced her to leave her job, her family and her northern Quebec community of Wemindji for dialysis treatment in Montreal.”

As Atsynia told the reporters: “When you first find out you need a transplant, to me it felt like, ‘OK, that’s it. I’m done. I’m just going to die.”

According to the story, Atsynia’s life changed when “someone she doesn’t know gave it all back to her by donating a kidney” in May 2018.

“I was extremely happy because I knew I was going to finally come home,” she said. “My kids were happy . . . they were really happy.”

That story is right here.

This doesn’t have anything to do with transplants or kidney disease, but it is a great watch . . .

How many B.C. people are alive because of organ transplants? The numbers are in . . .

More numbers from BC Transplant: There are 1,487,323 donors registered in the province’s organ donor registry; there were 406 transplants performed in 2019, to Nov. 1; and there still were 755 patients awaiting transplants. . . . Visit the website at for more information and lots more numbers.

Sean Delaney of Edmonton is the associate director of organ listing and allocation at Canadian Blood Services. Delaney, 48, also has undergone a kidney transplant; in fact, he had one more than 20 years ago when he got one from his brother. . . . Delaney’s story, as told by Moira Wyton of Postmedia, is right here, and it’s an interesting one. . . . “Delaney works to streamline organ donation across the country,” Wyton writes, “and create new ways to help people receive the organs they need to live and thrive.

This has included the creation of a national registry to administer new programs such as the Kidney Paired Donation Program, which has facilitated more than 700 transplants since its founding in 2009.” . . . Through all of this, he now finds himself back on the transplant list because his kidney is in failure, and he is doing peritoneal dialysis.

Check out this story from Cleveland where doctors at a clinic have used a robot to perform a kidney transplant . . . 

Alberta, P.E.I. talking presumed consent . . . Jelly Roll playing the blues, but not singing them

Toby Boulet, whose son, Logan, was killed in the crash of the Humboldt Broncos’ bus, has spoken out about the bill before the Alberta legislature that will permit organ donation unless a person has opted out of the process. . . . Boulet told Bob Weber of The Canadian Press that “there’s way more that needs to be added to the bill.” . . . Logan Boulet’s organs were harvested after his death and six people benefited from them. That turned into a huge story and thousands of people subsequently registered for organ donation, a phenomenon now recognized as the Logan Boulet Effect. . . . Toby and his wife, Bernadine, now speak frequently on organ donation. . . . According to Weber, Toby told him that the bill’s biggest failing is that it can’t address attitudes. “It’s pretty hard, in my opinion, to tell Albertans to do anything,” Boulet told Weber. “Albertans do the right thing. But if you tell them what to do, they don’t do the right thing. If you tell someone you’re going to have presumed consent in a law, that’s not going to go over very well.” . . . Boulet also pointed out that there will be a need to have “surgical teams that are dedicated and ready to go at a moment’s notice. We only have that in Calgary and Edmonton.” . . . Weber’s complete story is right here.


On Tuesday, Prince Edward Island moved closer to a system of presumed consent for organ donation, something that is expected to become law in Nova Scotia sometime in 2020. . . . In P.E.I., legislators on Tuesday passed a motion under which a committee “will reconsider the province’s rules concerning organ donation,” reported Kevin Yarr of CBC News. . . . His story is right here.

His name is Kirk Johnson, but he is better known as Jelly Roll Johnson, a top-of-the-line harmonica player. According to Jessica Bliss of the Nashville Tennessean: “He played harmonica on more than 50 gold and platinum albums, including three Grammy-winners by Randy Travis. He appeared on the Late Show, the Tonight Show, the CMA Awards show.” . . . One other thing — he dealt with PKD (polycystic kidney disease) for all of that time, knowing that it had killed his father and at least three other relatives had it. No, he didn’t miss any gigs and he often played at Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe while undergoing dialysis. . . . Eventually, he went through a liver and kidney transplant. . . . His story, as written by Bliss, is right here and it’s well worth a read.


Ian Furness, a sportscaster with Sports Radio KJR in Seattle, knows of what he tweets. His son, Kiefer, a high school student and an athlete, has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

The latest on Ferris’s situation. . . . Alberta headed to ‘opt out’ donor system

Ferris Backmeyer is a young Kamloops girl in need of a kidney transplant. I wrote about her right here on Oct. 7. . . . It is great to see at least one other outlet pick up on the story. If you click on the link right here you will find a story on Ferris that was written by Karen Edwards of