Kidney transplant recipient urges donations
- Judith Iron | April 06, 2020
Organ donation can be a life-and-death situation for waiting recipients.
Monica Goulet of Cumberland House knows this all too well. In 2011 Goulet learned her kidney was failing and she would need a transplant. After many disappointing attempts at finding a suitable donor, Goulet received the call that her nephew Jim Searson was a match.
“I thank Jimmy for saving my life and I thank god that I come from the family that I do and for the community that I have. I sure have gotten lots of love and support throughout this journey,” she said.
March 26 is the one-year anniversary of her kidney transplant. Goulet feels healthier and happier. After many years of medical leave, she is back at work for the Saskatoon Police Service as an Aboriginal Relations Consultant. She takes nothing for granted.
“I am so grateful to be alive. When you're that close to death it seems so much more sweet,” she said.
Now Goulet is staying alive to save lives by raising awareness, promoting kidney health, and educating the public on how organ donation can save lives.
Searson and Goulet shared their stories as donor and recipient on Facebook and the response was overwhelming.
“We ended up meeting a lot of people... people who needed a kidney, or were going through a transplant or were starting hemodialysis, reached out,” she said.
“I knew we had to do something to help. My life had been saved. Now I wanted to give back.”
Not every one gets a second chance at life if there’s no donor match or assistance with expenses.
Talitha Winnie Bear, 17, from Saskatoon has been going through hemodialysis for approximately three years and desperately needs a kidney.
“It's been tough. My granddaughter means the world to me,” Colleen Bear said.
“She's so young. I just want her to have a normal happy life.”
Donna Bouvier-McKay has been on dialysis for 6 years and undergoes hemodialysis far from her home community. She had to move to Saskatoon for the necessary three sessions per week because she couldn’t afford all the travel.
“But even now that I'm here, I still have a hard time getting back and forth to the hospital,” she said.
Hearing stories similar and knowing there are many more challenges, Goulet knew she had to help others get a second chance at life.
She partnered with the Saskatchewan Kidney Foundation to host fundraiser called Staying Alive. The event will be held at the Dakota Dunes Casino on Thursday, March 26. Chief Darcy Bear of the Whitecap Dakota First Nation donated the banquet room for the event and $4,000 to the cause.
Money raised will go to the Saskatchewan Kidney Foundation's short-term emergency financial assistance program to benefit eligible Metis and First Nations people.
To donate silent auction items, please contact Monica Goulet on Facebook.
Being a living donor is a choice, but in unforeseen circumstances your family may not know your wishes. Organs and tissues from a living or recently deceased person can save or enhance the lives of many. Tell your friends and family members that you want to save lives. You are never too old or too young to have this important discussion with your family.