The family of a former Grand Forks resident is looking for a kidney donor after attempts to find one in the family didn’t pan out.
Sherrie Taylor said the family is turning to the public to help their father, Ken Taylor, find a living donor as he faces needing dialysis to stay alive. A former resident of Grand Forks, he was an active member of the community and hockey coach. He retired from his forestry career while living in the city and moved to West Kelowna.
For most of his life, he has been an active member of the community and avid sportsman who used to partake in senior men’s hockey and downhill skiing. Until recently, he was an active pickleball player and cyclist.
About 30 years ago he was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, which causes multiple growths on the kidneys, eventually causing them to swell and shut down. He had been able to manage it until recently, Taylor said, but has come to a point where dialysis is needed.
This will keep him alive for a while, but the only way to cure this is with a kidney donation.
However, being type O blood, he can only accept a kidney another with type O blood.
The family tried to find someone in the family, but no suitable matches were found.
“My mom, my sister, brother and I have all been tested and my sister is the only blood match with him, but she was disqualified because she has a lot of kidney stones,” Taylor said. “My brother also had melanoma, my mom is the wrong blood type and I’m the only one that made it through screening. But there is a stone on my left kidney and some hospitals don’t want to use a kidney that has stones in it.”
As well, some hospitals prefer left kidneys because they have longer arteries, giving surgeons more leeway to work, Taylor said. They could take her right kidney, but some hospitals don’t want to use the right kidney because of the shorter arteries.
She is reaching out to his former home community because of the fond memories the family still has when they lived here. However, they are putting the call out everywhere to increase their chances of finding a living donor.
She and the rest of the family are spreading the word about the Living Kidney Donor Program.
“People can donate directly to a recipient,” she said. “I know people don’t like the idea of donating an organ while they are alive, but this will save his life and let him return to a relatively normal state.”
If anyone is willing to get screened and tested, they can contact St. Paul’s Living Donor Program.
There is comfort in knowing that if you pass all the screening and testing done through this program at St. Paul’s Hospital that you are in excellent health and your body can handle donating a kidney, she said. Most people live a normal and healthy life with one kidney, with most people needing only one functioning kidney to live a healthy life.
Screening and testing for this program is rigorous, she said, so people will know for sure if they can donate their kidney.
To find out more, visit https://renal.providencehealthcare.org/services/living-kidney-donor-program, or contact Living Kidney Donor Program, St. Paul’s Hospital, 6A Providence Building, 1081 Burrard St., Vancouver, BC V6Z 1Y6 Tel: 604-806-9027, Toll free: 1-877-922-9822 Fax: 604-806-9873 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org