B.C. Transplant sign-up blitz aims for 48,000 organ donors

Three days a week, six-year-old Aidyn Delorme spends seven hours being driven from his Langley home to Vancouver’s Children’s Hospital, being hooked up for more than three hours on a dialysis machine, then driving home.

“It’s his normal,” says mom Danielle Valero. “It’s not normal, but that’s what he’s always known.”

Even before birth, Aidyn was diagnosed as a kidney patient — his urine backed up and damaged the crucial organs.

Now his only hope for a life free of being hooked up to machines is a kidney transplant. He’s one of the faces B.C. Transplant is hoping will convince British Columbians to sign up to be an organ donor.

A two-day quest — from 9 a.m. Monday to 9 a.m. Wednesday — is hoping to net 48,000 new donors.

Valero is asked what a transplant would mean to her son — forced to spend three days in hospital, he can only attend school two days a week.

“Now I’m probably going to cry,” says Valero. “He tolerates dialysis, but it takes a long time. He gets bored and antsy.”

Because of his compromised health, Aidyn is supposed to be careful, but, of course, he’s just a young, boisterous boy.

“He loves to play hockey, soccer and basketball. He’s a typical boy — he likes to get into things that he shouldn’t,” his mom said.

Life was never straightforward for Aidyn.

“They induced him one month early,” recalls mom. “I hugged him, and they took him straight into surgery.”

Valero, 34, who had to quit her job as a veterinary assistant to accommodate Aidyn’s dialysis, dreams that one day he’ll get a donor match so he can swim and be rambunctious like other kids without health concerns.

“A lot of people don’t realize that an adult can be a donor to a child,” said Valero. “He goes in for dialysis, and there are three other kids there with him. They’re all waiting for transplants.”

B.C. Transplant spokeswoman Peggy John said there are plenty of B.C. folks in their sights.

“It is ambitious,” John said of the two-day, 48,000 target. “If 85 per cent of British Columbians believe in the program, and only 19 per cent are signed up, we’ve got at least two million people outstanding.”

John pleads with would-be donors to log on to the society’s website — transplant.bc.ca — and register.

“It only takes two minutes,” said John. “One organ donor can save up to eight lives … It gives a person another chance at life.”

For those who prefer to sign up in person, volunteers will be at the Vancouver London Drugs at Georgia and Granville streets on Tuesday from 1 to 5 p.m.

– From the Vancouver Province

For more from the Province, click HERE

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