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.

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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

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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

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Or, for more information, visit right here.

A wife’s plea: ‘We are reaching out to everyone in dire-desperation to find a living donor for Vic’

Vic2Are you ready for some numbers?

You are. Great.

For starters, take a guess at how many people in B.C. were waiting (and hoping) for a kidney transplant as of July 31.

According to BC Transplant, there were 633 B.C. residents in that situation.

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Vic Morin of Kamloops is one of them.

His wife, Colleen Bruce, told Vic’s story a year ago. Earlier this week, she provided an update:

“It now has been close to one year since my last posting on Vic and his struggles with kidney disease. There have been a lot of changes in our lives over the past year.

“Vic was put on emergency hemodialysis in the middle of September 2019.  Vic now has transitioned to full-time peritoneal dialysis that he does at home eight hours a night, seven days a week. This dialysis is done at night while he is sleeping.

“Over the past year his health has unfortunately declined. He doesn’t have the energy to do much anymore due to the kidney disease. Even going for walks is a big struggle, but he does try his best a few times a week.

“We really were hoping that the dialysis would give him more spark and energy, but because the kidneys are so diseased, this isn’t the case. He needs a kidney now more then ever.

“We had a virtual appointment with our doctor from St. Paul’s Hospital in early August. He said Vic’s wait for a kidney from a deceased donor could be up to four years for his blood type. As well, the doctor wasn’t sure that Vic’s arteries that attach to the kidney would be strong enough for a kidney transplant in four years.

“The doctor told us that Vic’s only option now is to receive a kidney transplant from a living donor within a year.

“So once again we are reaching out to everyone in dire-desperation to find a living donor for Vic. We created the accompanying poster in hopes of reaching as many people as we can.

“Please keep in mind that you don’t need to be an exact blood-type match to become a donor for Vic, as St. Paul’s Hospital has a paired exchange program. This means that the donor and Vic (recipient) will enter into the paired exchange program.

“Here is how it works:

“Donor A wishes to donate a kidney to Recipient A, but they are not a match. Donor B would like to donate a kidney to Recipient B, but they are not a match. However, Donor A is a match with Recipient B and Donor B is a match with Recipient A. A paired exchange can then be completed.

“Again, we are needing to get our story out to as many people as will listen. If you have ever considered becoming a kidney donor, or would like more information, please contact the donor nurse co-ordinator at St.  Paul’s Hospital by calling 604-806-9027 (1-877-922-9822) or by emailing donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca. Please mention Louis Victor Morin.”

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More numbers, thanks to BC Transplant . . .

As of July 31, there had been 133 kidney transplants conducted in the province — 89 involving deceased donors, 44 from living donors.

All told, BC Transplant was following 3,540 post-transplant patients.

In the Thompson-Cariboo-Shuswap area, which includes Kamloops, there were 1,217 people with chronic kidney disease. . . . There were 71 people from that area on the transplant list. . . . All told, there were 78 people doing hemodialysis, with another 31 doing peritoneal dialysis.

Think about all the numbers for a moment and you will realize that kidney disease isn’t going anywhere.

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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

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Or, for more information, visit right here.

Transplant really a kidney miracle . . . Others, like Zach Tremblay are waiting, hoping . . . Can you help?

Christmas2019
Kara looks over her new piano on Christmas morning, as her Dad and Grandma look on.

If you are a regular here, you will be aware that Dorothy, my wife of 47 years, underwent a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013.

If you’re not, well, here’s the story . . .

We will be forever grateful to the two people most responsible for what really has been a

DandK-20180922
Grandma giving Kara a lesson in September 2018.

new lease on life. Dorothy’s best friend, who has been a bestie for a long, long time, was convinced from the outset that she would be the donor. However, as it turned out, she wasn’t a match for Dorothy.

Still, she wanted to make sure that Dorothy got a new kidney. So they both went into the Living Kidney Donor Program. And that is how Dorothy came to get a new kidney.

Her best friend, who has never wanted attention for what she did, gave a kidney to a stranger, but on the condition that Dorothy get one from someone else, which is what happened. We don’t know who got the friend’s kidney; we don’t know who was Dorothy’s donor.

But as far as Dorothy is concerned, her best friend was her donor.

What has a new kidney meant for Dorothy?

For starters, it got her off dialysis. She had done peritoneal dialysis (PD) for four years prior to the transplant.

Kara-20170413
Kara, with one of her first gifts from Grandma.

It also meant that she was here for the birth of her first grandchild — Kara. She lives with her father, our son Todd, and his wife, Joanna, in Burnaby.

It also has allowed Dorothy to experience, among so many other things, the joy of four Christmases with an energetic and oh, so happy Kara.

Dorothy plays piano by ear and really loves it. She volunteers at a seniors’ residence in Kamloops and often is asked to play piano there. Her love for the piano has meant that her granddaughter has twice received small ones for Christmas, including a toy miniature grand this time around.

What I am trying to say through this meandering message is this: I would hope that you would at least consider being a live kidney donor. The difference such a decision could make in another person’s life is incalculable.

Remember that a transplant isn’t a cure for kidney disease. There quite simply isn’t a cure. Still, a transplant is nothing short of a miracle for the recipient.

Yes, Dorothy and I experienced a miracle more than six years ago and we are thankful every day.

So, please, at least think about it.

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There are a lot of people out there who are waiting and hoping. They awaken every single day and wonder if this will be the day they get THE phone call . . . a match has been found . . . there’s a date for surgery . . . the load has started to lift.

People like Zach Tremblay, a 16-year-old from Robson, B.C., which is across the Columbia River from Castlegar. Zach now spends more than half of every day doing dialysis.

On Saturday, Zach’s mother, Jana, posted this update on Facebook:

“As 2019 draws to a close, and we enter the 5th year of dialysis, I can’t help but be a little sad we are still waiting. So many shares, so many messages from people asking how to be tested, and no matches so far.

“2019 was rough on him. September’s scare and hospital stay being especially trying, and bringing about many changes in his energy level, anxiety and, in turn, his therapy.

“He now does 14 hours of therapy a day. So he spends more than half his 24-hour day doing dialysis. No 16-year-old should be spending the majority of his time doing this.

“Please share his story far and wide and as often as possible and help us make 2020 HIS year.

“May 2020 bring nothing but great things to you all . . . and as always, we appreciate each and every one of you for staying on the ride and loving and supporting our boy and our family.”

(I wrote about Zach in October, and you can find that piece right here.)

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Joan Alexander, a friend of Jana’s, followed with this:

“As my two-year anniversary as an anonymous kidney donor gets closer, I am beginning Zacha social media blitz to get Zachary Tremblay the kidney he needs!

“My journey began because of Jana Tremblay’s posts about organ donation. As the mother of two healthy sons, I immediately was drawn into this family’s story. Although I was not able to donate to Zach directly, I decided to donate anonymously and someone in British Columbia became my recipient.

“How can you help? Share this post, make (the accompanying two-year-old) photo of Zach your profile pic, learn more (call the St. Paul’s Living Donor Program), get tested, say a prayer or make a wish . . . all of this and more will help.

“It is no small thing to donate an organ. But I would do it again in a heartbeat if I could! Message me if you would like to talk.

“Zach now is 16 years old. He is hooked up to dialysis 14 hours each and every day.”

——

As we prepare to head into a new year, it would be terrific if it really became a year to remember for people like Jana and Zach Tremblay and their family.

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

Meet Zach Tremblay, an active teenager from Robson, B.C., who needs a kidney . . .

By day, Zach Tremblay is your typical 16-year-old.

He is a Grade 11 student at Stanley Humphries Secondary School in Castlegar, B.C., just across the Columbia River from his family’s home in Robson in the West Kootenays. He plays basketball and likes to bowl. He spends time skateboarding, and hanging with buddies.

By night, however, Zach is anything but typical.

As he gets ready for bed every night — every single night . . . EVERY SINGLE NIGHT . . .

ZachTremblay
Zach Tremblay is 16 now, and he still needs a kidney. The phone numbers will get you to the Live Donor Exchange Program at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver.

there aren’t any nights off — he hooks up to a machine called a ‘cycler’ that, while he is sleeping, uses fluids to drain toxins from his body. For most of us, our kidneys take care of these toxins.

However, Zach was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease at birth. While he was younger, medications helped control things. As he grew older, the medications weren’t enough. He now has been doing peritoneal dialysis (PD) for almost five years.

There was a brief interruption in the middle of 2017 when he underwent a live donor transplant at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

But, as his mother, Jana, wrote, “Unfortunately it did not work out, and was removed 24 hours and four surgeries later. An absolutely heartbreaking moment for all of us, but mostly him.”

On Sunday, Jana told me that “because of the donor tissue being inside him, he has developed very high antibodies, so finding his match has proven to be a huge challenge.”

After the transplant didn’t work out, it was back home. Back on PD. Back waiting and hoping for a live donor to be found.

In September 2017, about three months after the transplant had failed, Jana took to her Facebook page in an attempt to add some momentum to the search.

“Zachary Tremblay is a 14-year-old boy from Robson, B.C., Canada,” she wrote. “He was born with CKD, Hypoplasia-Dysplasia with reflux. After 12 long years of battle, he has been put on PD and is awaiting a kidney transplant. Zachary is an O negative, but the donor can be O, O- or O+– The RH Factor is irrelevant, and can be controlled by meds.

Each family member has been tested with no matches. We are now reaching out to you, the public, our friends, families, neighbours and strangers. Our boy needs a kidney, and every kid deserves a chance at a healthy life. Please consider being tested for him.”

Four months ago, Jana updated the situation for the first time in six months:

“Six long months have passed since our last update. Six more long months of dialysis, meds, appts, lab draws, injections, supply orders and dump runs ( medical waste builds up SO fast!)

“We are still sharing, waiting, hoping and praying our boy gets his gift. We will never give up on that! In the meantime, we promote organ donation and ensure people who want to be are signed up.”

Last summer, Jana was asked to address the gathering at the annual Kidney Walk in Trail, B.C. Her father was ill, so she wasn’t able to make it, but she put together an emotional piece that was read to the crowd that day. More than anything, this spells out the impact that kidney disease has on a family. Some excerpts follow . . .

Shortly after birth, doctors discovered that Zach “was in complete renal failure and would need immediate intervention at B.C. Children’s Hospital if he was to have any chance at survival. . . .

“Zach, myself and his Dad spent the next six weeks in hospital. We slept side-by-side on an old metal cot beside his crib, in the corner of his room, so we could be there no matter what happened.

“He had very high potassium, and they were worried his heart would be damaged or, worse, would just stop.

“Many long nights, painful tests, blood draws, treatments, ultra sounds, and IV’s later, our baby was stable, and we were able to bring him home. I remember excitedly asking our doctor, ‘What now? What do we do now? What will happen to him and where do we go from here.’ His response shook me to my core. He very quietly and calmly said: ‘Take him home and enjoy him, because this baby is not going to live.’ . . .

“Not only did our son survive, he surpassed any expectation they had for him. He grew and thrived and required very little intervention, aside from vitamins and phosphate binders, until his 11th year.

In September 2012, he went into sudden decline, and by December he required surgery to place a peritoneal dialysis catheter (into his peritoneal cavity). After the holidays and some healing, we spent the next two weeks training in Vancouver to learn to give our son dialysis at home. We had to learn to look after our son, and give him his therapy, distribute his meds, care for his site, and watch for signs of issues or infection. . . .

“We have spent the past 15 years traveling back and forth to Vancouver. While people were setting money aside for their next family holiday or big vacation, we were saving for our next trip to Vancouver. . . .

“This disease affects the whole family. My other son, Mason, has spent a good deal of his life, also going back and forth, attending appointments and supporting his brother. He has been afraid, lonely, scared and angry. . . .

“There are few people in this world I look up to more than my kids. Zach has endured more than any kid should have to. He has handled it with a maturity and grace not seen in most his age. While most kids are worrying about homework, social media, friends, etc., he has all that, plus the added pressure of this disease. He has to remember to take meds. He has to take his BP everyday. He has worries, fears and responsibilities most adults couldn’t adhere to. He shouldn’t have to.”

The Tremblay family, including Jana and her husband, Dan, live in Robson. There is an older brother, Taylor, and an older sister, Kailie, both of whom have partners and children. There are other family members in the area and in the Okanagan; the support system, Jana said, is strong.

The family has learned to take life one day at a time as they wait. Hoping. Praying. Zach hooks up to his cycler EVERY SINGLE NIGHT as he, too, plays a waiting game.

On Thursday, Jana posted a brief message on Facebook. It read: “Thursday seems like a great day to find a kidney!”

I’m thinking that the Tuesday after a Thanksgiving weekend would be a great day to find a kidney, too.

——

If you are interested in more contact 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

Kamloops family given OK to search for kidney donor for daughter . . . Ferris Backmeyer, at 2-1/2, in need of transplant

Faceoff2
Ferris Backmeyer joined her father, Pat, along with Dorothy Drinnan (left) and Margaret Thompson for the ceremonial faceoff at a Kamloops Blazers game on Feb. 1. (Photo: Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)

If you were in attendance on Feb. 1 as the Kamloops Blazers played host to the Prince George Cougars, you may have seen Ferris Backmeyer at centre ice.

Ferris took part in the ceremonial face-off prior to what was the second annual RE/MAX Presents: WHL Suits Up with Don Cherry to Promote Organ Donation game.

Ferris and her father, Patrick, were at centre ice, along with Dorothy Drinnan and Margaret Thompson, two women who have grown to be close friends since both have had kidney transplants.

Ferris and her family are hopeful that she soon will join that club, too.

Yes, Ferris, who is 2-1/2 years of age, needs a kidney, and her mother, Lindsey, has turned to Facebook to announce that the search for a donor officially is underway. In other words, potential donors now are able to contact the Living Kidney Donor Program at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver

Ferris
Ferris Backmeyer, at 2-1/2 years of age, is in need of a kidney transplant. (Photo: Lindsey Backmeyer/Facebook)

First, though, you should get to know Ferris, who made quite an impression when she and her father joined us a while back for a gathering of the Kamloops Kidney Support Group.

Michael Potestio of Kamloops This Week wrote about Ferris in April 2018.

“A few weeks after she was born,” Potestio wrote, “Ferris, now 14 months old, was informally diagnosed with Mainzer-Saldino syndrome, a disorder characterized by kidney disease, vision loss and misshapen bones.

“The disease is caused by gene mutations and is so rare there are only about 20 known cases, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
“After she was born, Ferris wasn’t gaining weight and subsequent blood work showed abnormalities with her kidneys and liver.”

At that time, Lindsey told Potestio:

“The scariest part in the first few weeks was we didn’t know what was going on. And she was admitted to (B.C.) Children’s Hospital back when she was three weeks old and nobody really knew what was going on.

“It’s a bit disconcerting when the medical professionals can’t give you a diagnosis for your kid.”

Genetic testing later confirmed the diagnosis, and it wasn’t long before Ferris’s kidneys failed.

The Backmeyers, who also have two older daughters, have spent a lot of time at BCCH in Vancouver with Ferris, especially in the early days of kidney failure as medical staff got her started on dialysis. She has been doing peritoneal dialysis (PD) and it took a lot of testing to see just how much of the dialysis fluid her body comfortably could hold. Ferris now has been doing PD at home for 18 months.

In PD, the patient is hooked up to a cycler every night — yes, seven nights a week — and fluids are used to absorb and drain toxins from the body via a catheter that is implanted in the peritoneal cavity. The patient carries fluid all day in that cavity, then repeats the draining process nightly.

Ferris has struggled to gain weight, which has complicated her situation. She needs to get to 10 kilograms before a transplant can take place.

But now it seems that she is making progress in that area.

Lindsey recently posted this on Facebook:

“We just got back from B.C. Children’s Hospital from one of our biggest trips ever and it was the first time I didn’t have (husband) Pat with me the whole time and first solo trip back with a 2 year old that doesn’t nap!

“She let them do all the things and the only tears we saw were with labs. She had the patience of a saint and literally seemed to be handling things better than I was. Hours of different consultations, 2 sets of labs, a bunch of X-rays, a dentist appointment and a hearing test!

“The initial screening for kidney transplant has officially begun!

“Little miss remains on the lowest side for weight and height that they will transplant, and growth has slowed again considerably. Praying for more growth!

“As for the donor part of things, we have been given the go-ahead to have any interested donors contact the St. Paul’s living donor program at 604-806-9027, citing Ferris as the intended donor.

“Her blood type is ‘B’ but they encourage all interested donors to contact St. Paul’s directly. They then mail out a package.

“Ferris’s side of the process is completely separate from the donor side and the donor side is 100 per cent up to the donor. We have been told the donor process can take just as long as the transplant workup for Ferris, so starting the search now is recommended.

“I am sharing this publicly because I want to get the word out. She deserves to live a healthy life and we are sooo ready to move on to the next phase. Social media has proven to be successful and altruistic donors is totally a thing! So let’s do it!! Let’s find Ferris a kidney!!”

Understand that you don’t have to be a match in order to help Ferris get a kidney. If you aren’t a match, the Living Donor Paired Exchange program will be used to match you with another donor/recipient pair in a similar situation.

The age and size of a donor isn’t a big deal, either. What is important is the health of the donor and his/her kidneys.

There is more information available right here at Providence Health Care’s website.

If you are interested in more contact 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