Two Castlegar families host organ drive at Kootenay Market this Saturday and Sunday

By Contributor
April 5th, 2019

Every year in April, BC transplant society focuses its efforts on raising awareness for organ and tissue donation around the province. Along with that this April 7 is National transplant awareness day in honour of the Logan Boulet effect. For those of you who don’t know Logan’s story, he was the Humboldlt Broncos player who donated six of his organs to people in need all across Canada. Logan’s sacrifice not only gave six families a new lease on life and a fighting chance for the future, but inspired a nation. His sacrifices led to over 100,000 Canadians registering as organ donors, and maybe even more importantly, started a nationwide trend. Now more and more provinces and communities are adopting presumed consent for organ donation. Allowing thousands of people to give their organs with their family’s consent rather than that of a donor who may not be able.

Two Castlegar families are now starting an annual donor drive this year in honour of the Logan Boulet effect.

To the Tremblay and the Beauregard families this is a very personal campaign.

Zack Tremblay is a 16-year-old Stanley Humphries student who is in need of a kidney transplant. Diagnosed at birth with Chronic Kidney Disease, Zack has been battling since birth. Two years ago, Zach received a live donor transplant. Unfortunately due to a technical issue with his transplant, his new kidney had to be removed, forcing him to be back on dialysis. Now Zack is in need of a new kidney. This time, however, because of the complications with the first surgery, Zack now needs a six-panel match, which is very rare. Though he may not lead the normal life of a 16-year-old, that doesn’t slow him down – he is socially and physically active and enjoys playing sports.

Jennifer Beauregard has a very different story. This 35-year-old wife and mother of two was air ambulanced to St. Paul’s hospital in Vancouver with a heart rate of over 200 beats per minute and a heart function of just five to eight per cent on Feb. 20 of this year. She has since been diagnosed with idiopathic cardiomyopathy, also known as end stage heart failure. Five days after arriving in Vancouver, the decision was made to install an L.V.A.D or Left Ventricular Assist Device. This device now pumps blood throughout her body for her. This allows her heart to rest and, along with the help of several medications, hopefully heal. The odds of her heart healing are fairly low (15-20 per cent) though her team of doctors and surgeons at St Paul’s have not given up hope and she is making great strides every day. Whether she’ll need a new heart is yet unknown … but nonetheless daunting. The idea of another having to give their life to save hers is a constant struggle for her, but with the support of her family and friends she making it through.

On Saturday and Sunday April 6 and 7 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.  these two families will be holding a donor drive outside Kootenay Market. Hot dogs, chips, and pop, as well as T-shirts, scrunches and ribbons will be sold, all to help out the two families as well as the Transplant foundation. There will also be a Donor registration table set up where you can register to be an organ donor with the Canadian transplant society. We invite you to come and have lunch and register to be a donor.

The greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of life!

This event would not be possible without the help of these sponsors Tammy Kanigan, Steve’s No Frills, Kootenay Market, Safeway Castlegar, Ryan Company, Coca Cola Castlegar, Trowelex Rentals and Sales, Van Hellemond Sports, Four Seasons Greenhouse, Bob and Carolea Cutler.

To the Community of Castlegar, our friends and family and all our supporters, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Categories: General


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