gord bugden for transplant ambassador program

Gord Bugden

Peterborough Co Lead

Hi, my name is Gord Bugden and I have been married to Helena for 50 years. We have two children and two grandchildren. We reside in Peterborough, ON. I am the recipient of a kidney transplant from a living donor. I had two relatives offer a Kidney. One was my sister’s husband but, unfortunately, during the testing it was discovered he had high blood pressure and has now got it under control. The other offer was from my wife’s younger sister’s husband. After being on peritoneal dialysis for a number of months and feeling tired all the time, it was a ray of hope. My donor is 10 years younger than me and in extremely good health. After months of testing and meetings, we were found to be a highly compatible match. The doctors even commented “Are you sure you two aren’t brothers”. After a very successful transplant operation I immediately felt like a new person. It was a new lease on life. I felt better than I had in years thanks to my wonderful brother in law, Gregory Campbell. That was FEB.8, 2010 AND here we are (7 ½ years later). I wake up every day feeling terrific and I am more than grateful to him, more than any words can describe. He is healthy and says if he had 5 Kidneys he would donate them to those in need. Both of us tell the story to everyone we can and encourage them to read about and consider the idea and he wears his butterfly pin every day, which prompts discussion. My brother in law just retired from Bruce Nuclear Power and back in 2011 I sent a letter to his Human Resources Manager explaining what Greg had done for me and the successful outcome. The letter was printed in their company newsletter which was distributed to the 6000+ employees. I personally have been very fortunate and want to encourage people to consider the options available to them which is why I want to become a Transplant Ambassador.

John mcgregor for transplant ambassador program

John McGregor

Peterborough Co Lead

In 2017, my son’s kidneys began to fail him. He needed a transplant to survive. After some rigorous testing, I fit the match as a donor. These are major surgeries and at any point I could have been ruled out or something could have happened. The key element is immediately my kidney started working in Robert and his appetite is back, his health is back, his energy is back. Three months later Robert was back playing hockey. Donating a kidney has given John the calling to give back to others going through their kidney journeys. John feels a strong desire to do more to raise awareness about the benefits of transplant, to help others trying to navigate the complex and sometimes difficult transplant path, and to let others know that they are there to help, as they’ve been there!

Richard Morrison for transplant ambassador program

Richard Morrison

I started my journey in 2013 to become a ‘Living Kidney Donor’ almost by accident. I was playing tennis with a friend of mine and in the course of chatting I learned that his wife was just starting dialysis as the kidney disease she had inherited from her father was no longer manageable with diet and exercise alone. I didn’t know a lot about kidney disease at the time although my wife’s mother had had kidney disease and died when she took herself off dialysis. She was 87 at the time and just found it too much to live with. I asked if anyone was currently being tested for a possible donation and he said they had already been through all their family members and close friends and no one was suitable. Without really thinking about it, I asked if I could be considered as a donor and that was the start of the incredible and rewarding journey to be a ‘Living Kidney Donor’. From the day I offered to be tested, until the actual date of my donation was almost 15 months. The testing a potential donor goes through is very thorough! I had a common heart condition (and still do) called Atrial Fibrillation (AF) and because of that my cardiologist had me taking blood pressure medication as a preventative measure. First thing I had to do was stop taking the medication, wait 6 weeks and see how my blood pressure reacted. Surprisingly, it turned out my blood pressure was actually okay without medication so that was a very important first hurtle climbed successfully. Cardiologists tend to be very cautious with their patients!! Once the blood pressure obstacle was overcome, the extensive testing began. When they were all done, and I had passed the tests, it was better than getting a full body medical. If there had been any medical problems, I didn’t know about they would have found them. Needless to say, the focus of the testing is on the performance and health of my kidneys. They have to be functioning in harmony and both carrying their part of the workload. Two reasons, the donor doesn’t want to be giving up the best of their two kidneys and on the other hand, the kidney being donated (usually the left, don’t ask me why) of course has to be healthy and efficient enough to work for the recipient. The journey took a very favourable twist when 2 weeks before the scheduled surgery dates, the co-ordinator at Toronto General Hospital informed us that we had just received a Match in the ‘Paired Exchange Program’ which was wonderful! In the workup process to be a donor, it was determined that my kidney was acceptable, but not without some blood issues that would have to be managed and increased the risk of rejection sometime down the road. Well, as a ‘Pair’ (donor and recipient) we had been entered into the ‘Paired Exchange Program’ which is a National Data Base of pairs waiting for surgery. Four times a year they run the data through a program to see if better matches for the recipients can be identified within other qualified donors. So, after a delay for retesting and double checking their data, the surgeries were scheduled again, and everything went well. I donated my kidney to a person I have never, and probably will never meet, while my partner got a kidney from another person in the exchange. What a Win-Win for everyone! This October 2019 will be the 5th Anniversary of my ‘Gift of Life’. Both of us are doing well and if asked would I do it again the answer is YES! The benefits of being a Living Kidney Donor are too numerous to list. I feel great and I am so happy that I was able to change a person’s life for the better in so many ways. So, if you have read my story and would like to learn more about the benefits of making the decision to be a Living Donor, please feel free to contact me. I would like to hear about your story and the decision you can make that will change your life and someone else’s life forever!

Debbie Bennett for transplant ambassador program

Debbie Bennett

My story regarding donation is uplifting. My son had a liver transplant in 1996 at the tender age of 22. Many years later, his kidneys started to fail. Being his mom, I offered to donate a kidney, and many others did as well. My son stated that he would rather receive my kidney as I was the healthiest person he knew! I had my blood tested for blood type and we were compatible, first test passed. When the time came, further testing started and everything went according to plan. The transplant took place in March 2013 and since, my son is doing fabulous! The surgeon stated that my kidney "pinked up nicely". A good news story if I ever did hear! Please feel free to reach out to me if you would like to discuss my journey as a donor to my son!

Bob Mckenzie for transplant ambassador program

Bob Mckenzie

My renal journey began in 2012, when a blood test indicated that my kidneys where not functioning properly. I met regularly with a nephrologist for about one year and then in 2014, I was transferred to the Multi Care Kidney Clinic (MCKC) in Peterborough. In 2015 my kidney function had lessoned to the point that I would now need dialysis, and I began treatment in center at Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg. I was on dialysis there for three years and in September of 2018, I received a kidney transplant. During the period when I was dialysing, I became a patient and family advisor and worked on a number of renal initiative programs designed to improve the care of patients living with kidney disease. I am also a member of the Ontario Patient Family Advisory Council (PFAC). As a result of what I have learned from these projects, I became very interested in patient renal care and I joined the Transplant Ambassador Program (TAP), in order to offer my experience to patients who are going through what I did, in the hope that they will be able to make better decisions about their future and care.

David Moon for transplant ambassador program

David Moon

At 62 years of age I was diagnosed with cronic kidney failure. The diagnosis was completely by accident. I was immediately referred to a local nephrologist and after changes to my personal lifestyle, was able to hold off dialysis treatment for 7 years. When it came time for dialysis, I trained for home hemo dialysis and one month later was dialysing at home. After approximately one year, I was offered the chance to do nocturnal home dialysis, recognizing this would get me even closer to a normal lifestyle, so I jumped at the chance. During this phase of treatment, I was approached by my favorite Son-in Law who stated if we were compatable, he would like to donate a kidney to his favorite Father-in Law. Unfortunately, after months of testing, we were told it could not happen. However, if my Son-in Law would live donate his kidney to someone on the general list, then I would be moved up to the head of list for the next compatible kidney. On Dec. 10 2016 my Son-in Law donated a healthy kidney and by Jan. 10 2017, exactly one month later, I received a deceased donor kidney. I am sure that my good physical health and being informed played a huge part in the success with both of us. I also think, once I was transplanted, like most recipients, I relished at a chance to give back to the system that made all this possible. I am proud to have become a transplant ambassador.

Information Booth at NHH in Recognition of World Kidney Day.

transplant ambassador program

Kidney Recipient Bob Mckenzie is an Ambassador.

Mr. McKenzie will have an information booth set up beside the Main Street Bistro of NHH and will be proudly sporting his bright green Transplant Ambassador Program (TAP) vest.
Read the full article here. . . .

PRHC manager donates kidney to co-worker

transplant ambassador program

Peterborough Coworkers come together through kidney transplant.e

Two co-workers at Peterborough Regional Health Centre share more than a passion for health care after one donated a kidney to help the other.
Read the full article here. . . .

Meet Transplant Ambassador: Gord Bugden

tap event

Watch the video clip here . . .