Never give up hope


Advertise with us

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/04/2021 (775 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Imagine waiting over 10 years for a phone call.

Blair Waldvogel never gave up hope for a kidney transplant, so when he received the news that would change his life, he and his entire family were excited and relieved. A deceased donor who was a match for Blair had been found.

On Dec. 5, 2020, Blair went to Health Sciences Centre, ready to embark on the next chapter of his life. His transplant surgery lasted a few hours but, owing to complications, he stayed in hospital for an additional 11 days. On his road to recovery, he said the medical team was incredible and worked together to deal with any issues.  

Blair Waldvogel, his wife Irene and their sons Leo and Jack got quite a Christmas present when Blair received a new kidney in December 2020.

“It’s a little surreal waking up and realizing that you have a new, third kidney that’s working.”
Living with a new kidney means a lot of adjustments including newfound energy and time and enjoying food cravings.

“My diet opened up to foods that I haven’t been able to eat for a long time,” he said.

“The ability to eat these foods was almost immediate after the transplant, I was able to eat chocolate, ice cream, and nuts for the first time in over 15 years.”

Blair no longer needs to spend five to six  hours a day, four times a week, in his spare room, on dialysis. For most of his two sons’ lives, that is all they have known. Now he can spend that time enjoying activities such as going on family vacations without hospital visits.

Of course, having a new kidney also means taking immunosuppressant medication. The drugs weaken your immune system to reduce your body’s reaction to the foreign organ and to allow the transplanted organ to remain healthy and free from damage. These are the new realities for Blair through his journey with kidney disease.

So, what’s next for Blair and his family?

“When I am ready, I want to return to work full-time and I want to continue to be very active and involved in my community.”
Blair volunteers coaching his sons’ sports teams, he has raised funds and awareness as a

Kidney Walk participant, and championed presumed consent for organ donation. As a patient partner on Kidney Health research projects, he contributes thoughts from a patient’s point of view to help improve patient care and outcomes.

“Becoming an organ donor is a personal choice for people to make. The most important step is having that conversation with loved ones and making sure your intent is recorded,”  he said.

April is Organ Donor Awareness Month. The Kidney Foundation encourages all Manitobans to speak to their family about their wishes (as more than 50 per cent of families are not aware).

Making the decision to give consent for organ donation is life-changing.  A deceased organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people. For many families, knowing that something good came out of their loss can help with the grieving process.

Support the Kidney Foundation by visiting

Register to be an organ and tissue donor today by visiting

Kidney Foundation

Kidney Foundation

The Kidney Foundation develops programs, services, research opportunities and awareness campaigns that have had a positive impact on the millions of Canadians living with, or at risk of developing kidney disease. Its national research program is one of the most important sources of funding for scientists conducting kidney-related research. We are also committed to providing education, information and support about kidneys and kidney disease.

Report Error Submit a Tip


Advertise With Us