Dear Potential Transplant Ambassadors,
The Transplant Ambassador Program (TAP) is a grass-roots, patient-led research initiative aimed at helping to reduce the barriers to living kidney transplantation. It is supported by the CanSOLVE-CKD Network, in partnership with the Ontario Renal Network, and Trillium Gift of Life Network.
The goal of the program is brilliantly simple: to connect individuals who are considering receiving a transplant, or donating a kidney, with someone who has lived experience as either a donor or recipient, and who understands the process and what they are going through. It strives to enhance the lives of those living with kidney disease/failure by providing them with the opportunity to communicate with previous donors and recipients, and in so doing, encourage people to pursue living donation prior to the need for dialysis if possible.
The program is being launched in the fall of 2017 in the following 13 renal programs:
Transplant Ambassador Leads at all of these centres are actively looking for past kidney donors or successful kidney transplant recipients to volunteer at the renal centre closest to them to help support future kidney donors or recipients as they go through the transplant process. If you live near one of these centres, please consider getting involved!
"Our Transplant Story Before our kidney transplant on January 27, 2010, we knew each other about as well as most sister-in-laws do – we saw each other once or twice a year at family functions. After kidney failure struck, things changed. Over the course of 13 months leading up to the transplant, we went through a lot of medical testing more testing – lots of phone calls and note comparing – and much soul searching, and through all of that, we got to know each other a lot better!"
"The transplant changed both our lives forever – and the years since have changed us even more."
Leading up to our transplant, and for a few years after, we both found ourselves struggling to understand and talk to others about what we had been through. As the years went on, we began to talk about it more, and as we did, we realized how important is was for us to talk about what we had experienced. We began to feel a strong desire to do more to raise awareness for organ donation and to help others trying to navigate the complex and sometimes difficult transplant path – as either a recipient or a donor. We also realized that kidney donors are very seldom seen or heard from in the hospital environment, and that needed to change!
One important way we have been able help is through the Transplant Ambassador Program. Though we had our transplant in London, we both live in other cities. TAP allows us to provide volunteer leadership at the hospitals where we live.
We invite you to get involved too and would be excited to have you on our team! You would be an amazing transplant ambassador if you: