On April 23, my daughters and I attended the second anniversary of the signupforlife.ca website at Health Sciences Centre. It was a press conference with a couple of guest speakers and media. You may have seen it on the news.
There was an amazing man at this event who talked about his experience. He is a kidney donor. A living kidney donor — meaning he gives away one of his kidneys, while living, to someone who needs one. Even more amazing about this story is that he didn’t have a person to whom he wanted to give a kidney. He just wanted to be an anonymous donor.
To donate one of your kidneys to someone is wonderful but to give one to a complete stranger? There are no words for a person like that. This anonymous donor went through a surgery and gave someone he doesn’t even know the chance at a normal life again. I don’t even think he realizes the impact he has made on some very lucky person’s life.
Although he may never know the person who received his kidney and never physically see what he has done, he knows that he has helped someone while he was alive. And he can live every day knowing he has done something truly incredible.
Most people who choose to become live donors know the recipients. They give a kidney to help a loved one such as a child, parent or sibling. When a person decides to be a partner in the paired exchange program the donor gives a kidney so his or her partner will receive one back. This is for people like me who have a donor who doesn’t match.
Becoming a living donor is something most of us are able to do (most of us d can live normal lives with only one kidney) and this would be an amazing choice to make but I realize it is something that is going to happen every day.
An easy choice would be to go to the signupforlife.ca website to become an organ donor.
On April 28, the website finally reached 10,000 registered organ donors. Now let’s get it to 20,000.
Jennifer Laferriere is a community correspondent for Garden City.