Kidney Transplant Summit will give a voice to patients

Dear editor,

From one kidney patient’s perspective….

I am truly humbled by what is about to happen – a first-ever Kidney Transplant Summit hosted by the Kidney Foundation.  This is a forum that will give a voice to kidney patients, finally.

Right now 50 per cent of kidney dialysis patients will die before they get a kidney transplant.  There is a desperate need for more kidney transplants in B.C. While not a cure for kidney patients on dialysis, a transplant is the best option a kidney patient has for a better quality of life.

What is good:  there is overwhelming support for organ donation.  In fact, 95 per cent of British Columbians say they support organ donation.  The problem?  Only 19 per cent are registered through B.C.’s organ donor registry.

We can change this.  There is hope for kidney patients like me.  That’s why the Kidney Transplant Summit is so important.  It’s bringing together kidney patients, families, caregivers, doctors, academics and many more to have a conversation about how to solve the critical need for more kidney transplants.

This week, as we celebrate National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week, I suggest below some ways we can all help do our part.

First, make sure you have registered to be an organ donor. To do this go to B.C.’s organ donor registry at transplant.bc.ca  Even if you think you are registered – check it out. It really only takes a couple of minutes but it can save a life.

Two, I also strongly encourage all kidney patients – those who have had kidney transplants and those who are waiting – to consider joining me and hundreds of fellow kidney patients at the Kidney Transplant Summit on May 1,  in Vancouver.  We need your support to help us speak up for those kidney patients who can’t.  To register for the Summit go to The Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC & Yukon Branch website at kidney.bc.ca

Three, help us send a strong message to government about the seriousness of kidney disease.    This disease affects one in 10 British Columbians.  Kidney patients deserve a strong voice.  Let’s give them one!

Catherine Turner

Aboriginal Advisor

The Kidney Foundation of Canada – BC Branch

 

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