The Cambridge Citizen has been a strong supporter of organ donation. Last year we told you about Candice Coghlin, a local resident who received a life- saving kidney transplant from her mother Kim, and went on to become the Fund Development Officer for Western Ontario for The Kidney Foundation of Canada. In October we sponsored the Cambridge Zombiewalk to raise awareness for organ donations.
As we go to print, a brave young Cambridge girl is on life support as she waits for a suitable donor.
Fourteen-year-old Kayla Baker had surgery for a cancerous tumour in her chest when she was only 18-months-old. Even though she succeeded in beating it, it left its mark on her with pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic disease that causes scarring and stiffening in the lungs. She’s spent the last two years in desperate need of a double lung transplant.
Baker was admitted into Toronto’s Hospital For Sick Children on March 13 and underwent surgery to help boost her oxygen levels and make breathing a little easier. But it isn’t enough and time has run out: she’s on life-support.
The St. Benedict Catholic School student has never lost hope and is a strong supporter of organ donation. She and her family have organized a fundraiser, Run aLung, set for May 11 that Baker hopes to participate in – with her new lungs. The fundraiser is a five-kilometre run/walk that will take place on the Bob McMullen Trail in Preston. Registration is $35 each and money raised will benefit The Hospital for Sick Children’s SickKids Foundation.
The fourteen-year-old has always been positive. Before her condition worsened, she didn’t let her disease slow her down and was active as a baseball player. She is an ambassador for The Hospital for Sick Children’s SickKids Foundation and was one of many patients in the foundation’s fundraising video – seen on the Internet and television – that is set to the song Anything You Want, You Got it by Roy Orbison. As the ambassador, Baker pledged to raise $10,000 for the hospital’s rehabilitation centre.
Baker and her family need the community’s support in both the fundraiser and praying for Baker’s double lung transplant. The family has asked residents of Cambridge to dress in the colour symbolizing organ donation, green, on Friday, April 6 to show their support. Some local schools are organizing dress-in-green days and many local businesses will also be wearing green. Some groups are even putting together their own fundraisers to raise money for Baker’s walk.
You can register for the walk or make a donation at Baker’s website, runalung.ca.