Live kidney donors celebrated at annual event

News / General

The second annual Living Kidney Donor event celebrates the individuals who have donated through living donation

In a crowded conference room a hush falls over the crowd as one by one attendee’s are called to the front and presented with a medal and certificate honouring them for a selfless act. This ceremony is the second time that a special evening has been held within hospital walls to recognize donors who have gone through Kingston Health Sciences Centre inaugural Living Kidney Donor program.

 “We are incredibly fortunate to have this great program available in our region and it has definitely made a huge impact in my life and that of my family,” says one recipient who was recognized in the evening ceremony.

Launched in 2017 the Live Kidney Donor Program is the first of its kind for our region. In a live kidney donation a kidney is surgically removed from a live donor and transplanted into a recipient.  With careful planning, live kidney donors can sometimes help patients avoid the need for dialysis and go straight to transplant.  

“This event is important to not only recognize the donors who have made this program possible but also the team members who have put in the time, effort and hard work to get this program up and running,” says Dr. Thomas McGregor, Assistant Professor, Department of Urology and co-Director, Kidney Transplant Program. “This is an important time to celebrate everyone who has helped to bring this important service together.”

In Ontario there are currently around ten thousand patients who receive some form of dialysis and in Kingston alone there are approximately 400-450 patients who receive treatment in the dialysis unit at the Kingston General Hospital site. Through a live kidney donation recipients are able to stop dialysis, have a better quality of life, lead a more physically active lifestyle and have a longer life span.

“It’s important through ceremonies such as this that we raise awareness of the Live Kidney Donor Program and the incredible benefit it can bring to patients in our southeast Ontario region,” says Dr. Khaled Shamseddin, Director of the Kidney Transplant Program and associate Professor of Medicine and Nephrology.  “We have patients on dialysis who at some point will benefit from kidney transplantation and we can now offer them this service without them having to worry about travelling a far distance or not being able to access care services for their donor.”

To date, over 15 individuals have donated a kidney through our live donor program.

To learn more about the Living Kidney Donor Program at Kingston Health Sciences Centre, please contact the donor coordinator at 613-549-6666 ext 7838 or Arlene.funnell@kingstonhsc.ca