Seeking a kidney donor

My name is Robin Gage, and I am in urgent need of a live kidney donor. It’s very difficult for me to put this out there, as I’ve always liked to help other people, not to need their help.

Starting in the 1970s, I worked at the Fort St. John General Hospital and Peace Lutheran Care Home for 34 years in nursing, until my kidney failure became so serious that I had to resign.

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My husband Paul worked at Bert Bowes Jr Secondary School for 35 years before passing away from leukemia in 2010. Our sons and I moved to Vancouver for its advanced medical facilities, as I needed a kidney transplant and my younger son Bryan had life-long severe health issues. Bry became palliative and I was rapidly declining on dialysis. Wonderfully, an unrelated stranger answered my plea, and in 2016 I received a life-saving kidney from her. I was able to stop dialysis and care for Bryan until he died peacefully three years ago this Christmas.

Unfortunately, my transplant kidney has now rejected, the treatment medications aren’t fixing it, and dialysis isn’t a viable option for me, so I’m desperately looking for a live kidney donor. It’s killing me to have to ask people for something so personal and so big, and I’m very embarrassed to ask again. But I’ve always been stubborn and determined, so I’m not giving up on life yet!

I don’t want anyone to feel pressure in any way about having to donate. I only ask you to spread the word to those you know, as for some people the idea of kidney donation is a natural fit and they are comfortable with it. Kidney donors live normal, healthy lives with only one kidney, and so would I with one transplanted kidney. There is no age limit to donate a kidney, and potential donors are carefully screened to make sure it is safe for them to donate.

Please follow my journey on Facebook at facebook.com/robin.gage.31. My sister has created a fantastic website called Robin Needs a Kidney at robinneedsakidney.wordpress.com where there are a lot of links to kidney information, and where Sue tells you honestly, from her firsthand experience, what it was like to be tested as a potential donor.

Or you can contact the St Paul’s Hospital donor nurse co-ordinator, who can no doubt give you all the information you might want (at 604-806-9027 or 1-877-922-9822, or donornurse@providencehealth.bc.ca).

Thank you for letting me share my situation with you. If you have any suggestions on better ways I could try to get a kidney as soon as possible, please let me know. Thank you!

— Robin Gage, Burnaby,
604-220-6457 (cell), 604-434-0703 (home)
fsjgages@hotmail.com

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