As we mourn the loss of Kayla I want to share this story. While we have lost Kayla, there are others in our community who have been recipients of organ transplants whose stories should be told. I am going to make it my mission to find other recipients of organ donations and have them told.
This is a story that was published in The Citizen in April of 2012. Candice Coghlan was the recipient of a life saving kidney transplant. Candice has become a vibrant voice for organ donation in Cambridge, and worked with The Citizen to promote organ awareness during the 2012 Cambridge Zombie Walk. This vibrant young woman is yet another example of the importance of organ donation from someone in our community. Candice is currently the Fund raising Coordinator at Canadian Cancer Society , and has recently become engaged.
April is Organ & Tissue Donation Awareness Month; but to Candice Coghlan and her family, it means so much more.
After a scary diagnosis in July of 2008, Candice learned that she would have to undergo a kidney transplant. She then went on dialysis at Grand River Hospital. After undergoing Hemodialysis three times a week for four hours at a time at the hospital, she switched to doing Peritoneal Dialysis at home for nine hours a night.
Nearly 80% of the over 4,300 Canadians on the waiting list for an organ transplantation, are waiting for a kidney. Of those kidney transplants, 40% are made possible by living donors.
Donors like her mother, Kim. For the love of her daughter, Kim gave the ultimate gift. She was tested right away…and was a perfect fit. Most patients have to wait a period of two to ten years to find an adequate donor, Candice explains. I was so lucky that not only would my mother offer to give up her own kidney for me, but it was also a perfect match.
“I was proud and honoured,” says mother Kim. “There was never a question of if, it was always when. The day would come on September 9th 2009 at 9:00 a.m.([email protected]:00) at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Hamilton. The transplant was a complete success under the care of nephrologist Dr. Darren Treleaven and his staff.
“I really can’tt thank the staff and my family enough for the comfort they shared with me during this whole ordeal.” Candice says of her recovery, I’ve had to take antirejection medication four times a day with vitamins since two weeks before my transplant. I will be on them for the rest of my life. Both Candice and her mother Kim enjoy each others company now more than ever. “I feel like the luckiest mother in the world!â€ Kim exclaims.”
The experience in itself was the catalyst for Candace Coughlin’s latest career and endeavours. She is now the Western Ontario Chapter’s Fund Development Officer for the Canadian Kidney Foundation. “There are so many innovations happening,” she tells us, “ have been enthralled by the amount research funds that had been made available by patient support and involved interest growing in our communities.”
Since the 1960’s things have improved dramatically. At that time a kidney transplantation was an alien procedure, now people can last up to thirty years without so much as minor problem occurring with their surgeries. Great strides have also been made concerning the matter of bone marrow and stem cells; which are now being donated as well during procedures to speed up recovery and hinder the use of antirejection medication like the type Candice herself uses.
“In March we had our door to door fundraising campaign. We have many upcoming events throughout the year. Important dates include: Groove For The Gift Of Life at Conestoga Place on April 7th at 110 Manitou Drive in Kitchener, Enjoying Your Kidney Diet Information Session on May 2nd at Adult Recreation Centre Room 3 in Waterloo at 185 King Street South, Portugal Autobody Car Show on June 24th at R&S Trailer Canada at 5185 Fountain St North in Breslau, The Ian Hay Memorial Golf Tournament on August 17th at Savana Golf Links on Cheese Factory Rd in Cambridge, the KW Walk at Bechtel Park on Sunday Sept 9th, and the Guelph Walk at Bechtel Park Sunday on Sept 9th.
We just had our March Drive, which is a door to door campaign. We encourage everybody to get involved. For those who do, there are plenty of outlets available for you to do so. For more information visit www.beadonor.ca and www.kidney.ca/ontario.Tags: Adult Recreation Centre Room, Cambridge Zombie Walk, campaign, Candace Coughlin, Candice Coghlan, Darren Treleaven, family, Grand River Hospital, home, King Street South, Kitchener, living, March Drive, Peritoneal Dialysis, The Citizen, visit, voice, Western Ontario Chapter, young