Vanderhoof kidney donation recognized

Kidney Foundation of Canada recognizes Service BC staff for their role in facilitating organ donor registration.

(From left to right) Ed Johansson

Two years ago, Lois Thomson from Vanderhoof was on her fourth month of dialysis to replace the function of her failed kidneys, traveling to Prince George three times a week.

It would be three more months until Jan. 29, 2014, when her 70-year-old uncle donated his kidney and removed Thomson from the list of close to 400 British Columbians waiting for a kidney transplant.

On Oct.16 at the Vanderhoof’s Service BC centre, the Kidney Foundation of Canada presented the Community Leadership Award to Service BC staff in recognition of their role in facilitating organ donor registration.

“Some people advertised that they need a kidney,” Thomson said. “For me, it’s a gift that you can’t ask for, freely, unconditionally.”

She added, “I’m just lucky that my uncle asked one day, ‘You still need a kidney?’”

Thomson was diagnosed with the polycystic kidney disease 18 years ago, with no past family history in the illness, she said.

“You can have a kidney disease and not know until it’s almost too late,” Thomson said.

As of August this year, Vanderhoof has registered 54 decisions on organ donation, said Perry Slump from the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services.

The Community Leadership Award have been presented to staff at Service BC’s 62 locations In the past week to increase organ donor awareness.

As the third event attended by Service BC’s government agent Ed Johansson, it’s the community stories that gave the recognition a personal touch, he said.