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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Custer

Organ Donor Awareness Day - April 8, 2019

I didn't realize it was organ donation awareness day tomorrow. Here's my two-cents. Living off of a machine takes a physical, mental and emotional toll on those who need it to survive. Although it is a lifeline, some people never get an opportunity to get a kidney (especially First Nations) so they can resume life as normal as possible. The meds will always be there but overall quality of life would improve immensely, if they have a transplant. Unfortunately, Indigenous people are over-represented in the organ-failure patient group--particularly in end-stage renal disease. Renal transplantation has the potential to improve quantity and quality of life for Indigenous people with renal failure. The most effective way to improve indigenous donation rates will be through improving the awareness of Indigenous people about organ donation.

I donated my kidney to my 21-year-old daughter Alyse when she was 14. Her kidneys failed due to her immune system attacking her body just days before her 12th birthday. Her heart stopped twice & was rushed to Saskatoon then we moved to Edmonton for her care. For two years she lived on dialysis. I went through all the testing to donate because I wished for her to have a life that was as normal as possible (and not have to wait for years or if it ever would happen) I wanted her to experience a first love, a broken heart from a boy, real love and a family. She's been doing so well and August would be 8 years since the transplant and we found out on Friday that her function is at 7%, her body is rejecting my kidney. She's just finishing up her 1st year in Social Work and is really understanding the impacts of colonization on our families and had this desire to help people. To be of service. What a beautiful dream/mission. Tomorrow she undergoes a biopsy, we will find out if she has to live on dialysis once again or if her kidney can be saved. All I can do is pray and trust and hope for a miracle once again. We need that kidney to be healthy.

I heard someone say that we were given two kidneys and we only need one to survive lol soooo

This is an interesting article on why First Nations don't donate as much...let me know what you think!

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