Shar­ing the gift of life

Sum­mer­side man call­ing for com­mu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in Kid­ney Foun­da­tion later this month

Journal Pioneer - - PRINCE COUNTY - BY JOUR­NAL PIONEER STAFF news­room@jour­nal­pi­oneer.com

If you were to ask Matt Mac­Far­lane what his most life-chang­ing mo­ment was, there would be no hes­i­ta­tion in his an­swer. On July 5, 2001, Mac­Far­lane got his life back af­ter re­ceiv­ing the gift of a kid­ney from his sis­ter Rosie. When he was 12 years old, his fam­ily doc­tor no­ticed some con­cern­ing re­sults in his blood work. More tests were done, and the di­ag­no­sis of kid­ney dis­ease was con­firmed. His kid­neys were fail­ing and would con­tinue to fail. For the next 14 years he would watch his diet, avoid ac­tiv­i­ties that could cause harm to his kid­neys and have reg­u­lar check­ups. How­ever, by 2001 the in­evitable oc­curred: he had grown weaker and thin­ner, was ex­hausted much of the time, was not able to think with a clear mind and reg­u­larly suf­fered from nau­sea. He was barely able to work and un­able to en­joy time with friends and fam­ily. For­tu­nately for him, he had three sis­ters who had be­gun the process to see if they were a match to do­nate a kid­ney. All three were matches, but Rosie was the one to do­nate the or­gan. “For the past 17 years, I have en­joyed a level of health that was not avail­able to me in the years lead­ing up to my trans­plant, and would not have been avail­able to me oth­er­wise,” said Mac­Far­lane. “I have been able to re­turn to P.E.I. and create a home with my wife, pur­sue my ca­reer in law, and vol­un­teer my time with the Kid­ney Foun­da­tion of Canada and other or­ga­ni­za­tions. I have been able to ex­er­cise, eat the foods I want and travel to places around the world. The gift that I re­ceived has en­abled me to live a nor­mal life, un­at­tached to dial­y­sis ma­chines, work­ing, con­tribut­ing and en­joy­ing all that life has to of­fer. “On Sept. 23, Mac­Far­lane will par­tic­i­pate in the Sum­mer­side Kid­ney Walk, an an­nual fundraiser for the Kid­ney Foun­da­tion of Canada. “Funds raised through our Kid­ney Walks will help sup­port the one in 10 Cana­di­ans who are af­fected by kid­ney dis­ease,” says Mar­lene Dorey, Devel­op­ment Co­or­di­na­tor, The Kid­ney Foun­da­tion of Canada – At­lantic Branch. “But, as any­one who has been per­son­ally af­fected can at­test, pre­ven­tion, ed­u­ca­tion and treat­ment meth­ods can still be vastly im­proved. Un­for­tu­nately, the rate of peo­ple with kid­ney dis­ease con­tin­ues to grow at an alarm­ing rate, and there is an ur­gent need to do more.” The walk will be held at Credit Union Place and reg­is­tra­tion be­gins at 1 p.m. with the walk be­gin­ning at 2 p.m. For more in­for­ma­tion go to www.kid­ney­walk.ca.

SUBMITTED PHOTO/MATTHEW MAC­FAR­LANE

Matt Mac­Far­lane, left, with sis­ter Rosie. Rosie do­nated her kid­ney to Matt af­ter learn­ing she was a match for him. Matt dealt with kid­ney fail­ure and the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of the dis­ease.

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