Three days a week, six-year-old Aidyn Delorme spends seven hours being driven from his Langley home to Vancouverâ€™s Childrenâ€™s Hospital, being hooked up for more than three hours on a dialysis machine, then driving home.
â€œItâ€™s his normal,â€ says mom Danielle Valero. â€œItâ€™s not normal, but thatâ€™s what heâ€™s always known.â€
Even before birth, Aidyn was diagnosed as a kidney patient â€” 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. Heâ€™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 â€” from 9 a.m. Monday to 9 a.m. Wednesday â€” is hoping to net 48,000 new donors.
Valero is asked what a transplant would mean to her son â€” forced to spend three days in hospital, he can only attend school two days a week.
â€œNow Iâ€™m probably going to cry,â€ says Valero. â€œHe tolerates dialysis, but it takes a long time. He gets bored and antsy.â€
Because of his compromised health, Aidyn is supposed to be careful, but, of course, heâ€™s just a young, boisterous boy.
â€œHe loves to play hockey, soccer and basketball. Heâ€™s a typical boy â€” he likes to get into things that he shouldnâ€™t,â€ his mom said.
Life was never straightforward for Aidyn.
â€œThey induced him one month early,â€ recalls mom. â€œI hugged him, and they took him straight into surgery.â€
Valero, 34, who had to quit her job as a veterinary assistant to accommodate Aidynâ€™s dialysis, dreams that one day heâ€™ll get a donor match so he can swim and be rambunctious like other kids without health concerns.
â€œA lot of people donâ€™t realize that an adult can be a donor to a child,â€ said Valero. â€œHe goes in for dialysis, and there are three other kids there with him. Theyâ€™re all waiting for transplants.â€
B.C. Transplant spokeswoman Peggy John said there are plenty of B.C. folks in their sights.
â€œIt is ambitious,â€ John said of the two-day, 48,000 target. â€œIf 85 per cent of British Columbians believe in the program, and only 19 per cent are signed up, weâ€™ve got at least two million people outstanding.â€
John pleads with would-be donors to log on to the societyâ€™s website â€” transplant.bc.ca â€” and register.
â€œIt only takes two minutes,â€ said John. â€œOne organ donor can save up to eight lives … It gives a person another chance at life.â€
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
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