'A small window of hope'

WINNIPEG FREE PRESS | Kevin Rollason

Organ donation celebrated by recipients, doctors

WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Kidney recipient Kathy Urban (left) and MLA Reg Helwer — whose daughter has received two kidney transplants in the past six years — spoke at an event at The Forks on Monday.
Kathy Urban, whose kidneys had failed three weeks earlier, was preparing to go on dialysis when her phone rang.

Urban said it was the transplant team calling to say they had found a kidney. She wouldn’t need to go on dialysis for even a day.

"I was in total shock," she said on Monday about the call she received in 2001, more than 24 years after she was first diagnosed with kidney disease.

"I was told it could be three years and the call came three weeks later. People I worked with were surprised when I went for a kidney transplant because I rarely missed a day of work.

"Your life changes in a minute. I got the call and I left my desk."

Coming up on the 16th anniversary of getting a new kidney, the 64-year-old Urban said she always remembers that her new life came because another person’s life ended.

"I do not know who the donor of my very precious gift of life is, but I do know that they and their family were very caring, giving, unselfish and courageous and that their decision to say yes to organ donation improved and saved my life and the lives of many others," she said.

"I thank them every day for my kidney and every year, on the anniversary of my kidney transplant, I write my donor family a letter to let them know I am remembering their loved one and them.

"I haven’t forgotten what they lost in order for me to receive." Continue reading
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