According to BC Transplant, 502 lives were saved in 2018 by organ donation, a gift that also allowed one Nanoose Bay woman to return to a full active life after receiving a kidney transplant 10 years ago.
Cindy Bachman was diagnosed in 1988 with renal disease and after several ups and downs, she was placed on a transplant list, but taken off once her health began improving.
In 2005, Bachman went into full renal failure and undertook home hemodialysis for two-and-a-half years.
In 2007, Bachman had a long-term friend’s husband step up and offer to donate his kidney. Five days before the scheduled surgery, doctors deemed the friend unfit to be a donor.
Bachman’s husband had also tried to donate his kidney but couldn’t.
A couple weeks after the scheduled, but failed, operation, Bachman’s sister-in-law called and asked how she could be tested to become a donor.
“That process went through, she was eligible and we did the transplant March 10, 2008,” Bachman said.
Since the transplant, Bachman said she is doing very well.
“Since that I’ve been back playing soccer, been to a World Masters in Italy and Americas Masters in Vancouver,” she said. “I play in league soccer now. None of that would be possible without the transplant.”
Bachman also keeps busy with hiking, cycling, travel, yoga, wood work and has recently took up painting and learning to play the drums.
“I’ve tried to make the most of my gift as a way to thank my donor… which there is no true way to do so,” she said.
Bachman is currently raising money to undertake the Kidney March in September which is a three-day, 100-kilometre walk from Kananaskis Country to Calgary.
“Each of us have to raise $2,200 in order to be able to participate in this,” Bachman said.
Anyone wishing to support Bachman’s fundraising efforts can go to kidneymarch.ca and search Cindy Bachman. People can also take their bottles and cans to the Parksville Bottle and Recycling Depot on the Alberni Highway and the Nanaimo recycling depot on Hayes Road. A Paint Nite fundraiser will also be held on March 26 at 7 p.m. in Nanaimo.