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Blair's Story

Imagine waiting over ten years for a phone call.
I never gave up hope for a kidney transplant, so when I received the life-changing news, my entire family were excited and relieved. The hospital found a deceased donor that was a match.

On December 5th, 2020, I attended Health Sciences Centre (HSC) ready to embark on the next chapter of my life. The surgery lasted a few hours, but due to complications I stayed 11 days in hospital. On the road to recovery, the medical team was incredible and worked together to deal with any issues.  

It’s a little surreal waking up and realizing that you have a new, 3rd kidney that’s working.

Living with a new kidney means a lot of adjustments including newfound energy, time, and enjoying food cravings. 

My diet opened up to foods that I haven’t been able to eat for a long time. The ability to eat these foods was almost immediate after the transplant. I ate chocolate, ice cream, and nuts for the first time in over 15 years.
I no longer need to spend 5-6 hours a day, four times a week, in my spare room, on dialysis. For most of my two kids’ lives, that is all they have known. Now I can spend that time enjoying activities like going on family vacations without the hospital visits.

Of course, having a new kidney also means taking immunosuppressant medication. The drugs weaken your immune system to reduce your body's reaction to the foreign organ and allow the transplanted organ to remain healthy and free from damage. These are the new realities for me through this journey with kidney disease.
So, what’s next?

When I am ready, I want to return to work full-time and continue to be very active and involved in my community.

I volunteer coaching my son’s sports teams, I’ve raised funds and awareness as a Kidney Walk participant, and championed presumed consent for organ donation. As a patient partner on Kidney Health research projects, I contribute thoughts from a patient’s point of view to help improve patient care and outcomes.
Becoming an organ donor is a personal choice for people to make. The most important step is having that conversation with loved ones and making sure your intent is recorded.

April is Organ Donor Awareness Month. The Kidney Foundation encourages all Manitobans to speak to their family about their wishes (as more than 50% of families are not aware). Making the decision to give consent for organ donation is life changing.  A deceased organ donor can save the lives of up to eight people. For many families, knowing that something good came out of their loss can help with the grieving process. Support the Kidney Foundation by visiting Register to be an organ and tissue donor today by visiting