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Shauna's Story

Donating my kidney to Kari was a defining moment in my life as well. It changed my life for the better.
My sister Kari’s journey with polycystic kidney disease spanned over a period of 35 years. In that time, she had many ups and downs, and sadly in July 2019 we had to say our final goodbye. 

Kari O'Reilly Urquhart was a daughter, sister, wife, auntie, fur mom, niece, cousin, granddaughter & friend; she was loved by us all and is dearly missed. She was strong and so brave and fought more battles than any one person should ever have to. I loved my sister Kari more than words could ever express. I was blessed having her in my life and to have had the years, tears, laughs and so many memories together. She was there by my side helping take care of me right from my start.

In 1998, the opportunity came for me to help take care of her; I of course was grateful to have it and was able to donate my kidney to Kari. I am proud to say that kidney transplant lasted almost 17 years – quite an accomplishment! In those 17 years, she said she lived some of her best years and was able to have so many wonderful experiences that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. She was able to travel all over the world including a dream vacation with her husband to Australia. She even lived what she said was “the happiest day of her life”– the day she married her amazing husband, David. 

Donating my kidney to Kari was a defining moment in my life as well. It changed my life for the better. It changed my outlook on life and how I moved forward in my life. Leading me to be healthier, and ultimately to live the happiest days and experiences of my own life. I know personally how important organ donation is – it matters; it changes lives for the better and can give people the happiest days of their lives.

Kari had the kindest, most thoughtful, compassionate, and generous spirit. She was passionate about raising organ donation awareness and fundraising with The Kidney Foundation to help improve the quality of life for those also living with kidney disease. She was quite an ambassador and one of the top fundraisers every year for the Kidney Walk in Manitoba.  She walked every year she was able: recruiting a large team, every one of those years, to walk along with her and raise funds for the foundation. I was able to fly out and join them on a couple of occasions as well. Her husband Dave stood by her throughout her journey and held her hand in the many Kidney Walks they walked together. He continues her cause to raise funds and walks every year. 

The first year after her passing, we walked as a family in her honour at the London Kidney Walk. Kari’s husband Dave surprised us and flew to London without us knowing and showed up at Gibbons Park to walk along with us in her honour!  

Kidney Walks take place across Canada each year. The Ontario Kidney Walk will take place in communities across the province this September.  Walk in honour or in memory of someone you love.  Learn more at