Story and photos by Stephanie Foden
After 16 years of having a successful kidney transplant, a local woman organized a kidney donation fundraiser. Melissa Wilson’s event, Kidneys and Chocolate at Isabella’s was packed on May 12 and raised over $3,000 for the Kidney Foundation of Canada.
For a small admission of $10, members of the community came and enjoyed chocolates, coffee and other delicious treats, all for kidney donation and awareness. Funds were also raised for the foundation by raffle tickets and donations.
“I wanted to spread awareness, especially because my friends and family know that I have a transplant, but don’t really know what is involved,” said Wilson. “So I wanted to kind of promote it.”
Wilson was born with chronic renal failure and a kidney transplant was her only chance of survival. At just six-years-old she received her first transplant, but it was unsuccessful. Six months later the now 22-year-old had a second kidney transplant with a cadaver and has been virtually problem free for 16 years. In January 2012, Wilson was told that her transplanted kidney is failing and will need another transplant within the next 6 months to a year.
Fortunately for Wilson, there is a good possibility that her father with be able to give her a transplant.
“All his tests and results have come out totally positive,” said Wilson. “We’re just waiting on a stress test and he has to meet with the kidney doctor.”
As Wilson was anxiously awaiting her transplant and approaching her milestone of 16 years as a healthy transplant recipient, she thought it was a great time to promote the importance of kidney donation and awareness. She said she was very happy with how well the event went and would consider running another fundraiser.
“I was so surprised, impressed and pleased of how supportive everyone was. Just how you tell your story and people are so willing to help and get involved.”