LONDON HEALTH SCIENCES CENTRE LONDON TAP AMBASSADORS

caroline powers for transplant ambassador program

Caroline Powers

My life had been blessed with good health until one morning in the spring of 2000 when I awoke with a rash on my legs. I saw my family physician who sent me to an internal medicine specialist, who sent me to see a nephrologist. It was hoped that the disease with which I was diagnosed would be self-limiting and my life would carry-on as usual. Sadly, this was not to be. Many of my amazing circle of family and friends came forward to be living kidney donors, but unfortunately we could not find a suitable match. My renal function continued to deteriorate and in October 2006 I started peritoneal dialysis and went on the deceased kidney donor list. I was told my wait for a deceased kidney would likely be very long as I had such a high PRA ( a test to determine the difficulty of finding an appropriate match), and consequently, my best chance of transplant was finding a compatible living donor. Having exhausted all our existing options at home, we looked to the USA. (There is now a country-wide program for incompatible donor/recipient pairs in Canada). Fortunately, after significant negotiation, my husband Greg and I were accepted into the transplant program at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Our information was entered into a large pool of incompatible donor/recipient pairs, and matches were found. We were involved in a “domino transplant “ where 6 different transplants were successfully executed. I received a kidney from a lovely lady from Rhode Island, who I subsequently met, and Greg’s kidney went to a young man. After 2 1/2 years of peritoneal dialysis I had a strong, functional kidney. I felt healthy and strong and was able to return to all the activities I loved. My first transplant lasted for 7 years when a combination of rejection and my existing disease caused it to fail. I went back on dialysis, this time home hemodialysis, and was placed on the deceased waiting list in a new Canadian Program, called the Highly Sensitized Patient list. My daughter, Stephanie, wanted to be a living donor when I was first diagnosed with renal failure. I was very reluctant to take a kidney from one of my children at the time. Over the years I had time to reflect on this and decided I didn’t have the right to stop her from doing something that she desperately wanted to do. Stephanie was assessed for living donation, found to be healthy and able to donate, but we were incompatible. Together, we went into the new Canadian paired exchange program, but before a match could be found I had the incredible good fortune to be offered a transplant from the deceased list. I am now living a full and healthy life again, thanks to the kindness and generosity of my deceased donor and his family. Greg and I continue to enjoy life, and are ever grateful for and mindful of the love, generosity, knowledge, skill and experience that has brought us here. We are both volunteers in the Transplant Ambassador Program at London Health Sciences Centre, thrilled to be able to share the story of our journey and to support and encourage others. Transplants save lives. Let’s all be a part of it. carolinep@transplantambassadors.ca

patti lake for transplant ambassador program

Patti Lake

Patti Lake is an anonymous kidney donor. After working working for the Multiple Sclerosis Society in London for 20 years, her good health was something she cherished. Volunteering in her community has always been a major part of her life. She has been a proud Rotarian for the past 14 years. Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self”. Patti is now retired and lives with her husband Michael in London, they have 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren they adore. Since becoming a kidney donor, Patti has embraced the cause, volunteering as the CoLead for the Transplant Ambassador Program and has served on the Fundraising Committee for the Multi-Organ Transplant Unit of LHSC. pattil@transplantambassadors.ca

greg powers for transplant ambassador program

Greg Powers

Greg Powers is a kidney donor. Bio coming soon. gregp@transplantambassadors.ca

rebecca margeson for transplant ambassador program

Rebecca Margeson

Rebecca Margeson is a kidney recipient. Bio coming soon. rebeccam@transplantambassadors.ca

trish edye for transplant ambassador program

Trish Edye

Bio coming soon. trishe@transplantambassadors.ca