Right now, there are about 1,700 people in Victoria living with chronic kidney disease, and more than 200 in need of a kidney transplant. Many will die waiting.
“Every community in B.C. shares a similar story of needing more kidneys than there are available for transplant,” says Karen Philp, executive director, The Kidney Foundation of Canada, B.C. Branch.
“The research shows 95 per cent of British Columbians support the idea of donating a kidney to someone in need, but only 19 per cent are actually registered on B.C.’s organ donor registry. We want to change this story and invite the public to join the conversation.”
The Victoria Community Conversation will be held Tuesday (Nov. 4) at 6 p.m., at the Embassy Inn Hotel on Menzies Street.
Members of the public are invited to share their thoughts and experiences, as well as hear from special guest speakers and health care experts about the impact of kidney disease in the community.
Ken Merkley, who received a kidney transplant from his daughter, is the host of the Community Conversation in Victoria.
“The community conversation is important because all British Columbians need to be aware of the problem and what they can do to assist in reducing wait times for kidney patients needing a transplant. Please register to be an organ donor with B.C. Transplant and consider becoming a living kidney donor for a loved one, acquaintance, or even a stranger.”
Throughout the province, The Kidney Foundation of Canada, B.C. Branch, is hosting 12 Community Conversations to ask people to help identify the barriers that stop people from registering as organ donors as well as the solutions to increase the number of people receiving a kidney transplant in their community.
The Kidney Foundation is committed to increasing kidney transplant rates by 50 per cent over the next five years. This conversation is the first step towards this goal.
For more information, please call 604-736-9775 or visit the foundation’s website at kidney.bc.ca.