The condition is quite rare and IgA protein that's supposed to help the body fight off infections settles in the kidneys and causes a slow deterioration of kidney function.
Dr. Patrick Luke, Co-Director of the Multi-Organ Transplant Program at LHSC said, "LHSC is a leader in organ transplantation in Canada, and we are proud that we have been able to provide 2,500 kidney patients with a new lease on life since the program was founded in 1973."
Kidneys from living donors have become an increasingly important resource in treating end-stage kidney disease and those who receive organs from living donors have better success rates.
Karen's kidney function was just 18% and doctors suggested a transplant. Her husband, Rick, volunteered to find out if his kidney would be a possible match. "It was difficult hearing the word transplant. I couldn't bring myself to tell my children, at first, that I needed one. But Rick, of course, knew and offered immediately to be tested as a potential living donor match," said Karen.
It took more than nine months before the couple was confirmed as a match and all of the necessary testing, both physical and psychological, was completed. The waiting time for a live donor transplant is also much shorter for patients.
Dr. Luke explained that there are a number of checks that must be done before they sign off on the procedure to make sure it's the right decision not only for the organ recipient, but also for the donor.