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Mother, son promote organ donation importance

Elicia Fortin donated a kidney to her son Kaidyn. They will cut the ribbon to start the Kidney Walk on May 12 at Henderson Lake in Lethbridge

A southern Alberta woman is promoting the importance of organ donation.
Last summer, Elicia Fortin donated a kidney to her three-year-old son Kaidyn.
“People need to know that organ donors change the ending to someone’s story, and make miracles happen,” Fortin said. “I don’t feel any different and only have a small scar on my tummy.”
Fortin and her son will cut the ribbon to start the 2018 Kidney Walk on Saturday, May 12 at Henderson Lake in Lethbridge.
Kaidyn tested positive in the summer of 2016 for ecoli 0157 H7, which transformed into the life-threatening disease Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome and started attacking his organs.
Kaidyn was rushed to the Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary where doctors put him on dialysis.
“My son had a unique case on a very dangerous downward spiral,” Fortin said. “We almost lost him too many times.”
Kaidyn spent 15 months undergoing dialysis, 14 surgeries and a series of complications including heart failure.
The young boy’s heart function dropped to just 17 per cent, and doctors said he needed a kidney transplant.
“It was the scariest, and most traumatic time of our lives,” Fortin said. “We were not sure he was going to make it.”
Fortin went through the screening process to become a living donor of a kidney for Kaidyn.
The transplant took place last summer.
“After his kidney transplant, his heart is back to normal, and he is doing so well,” Fortin said.
Fortin and her son became volunteers for the Kidney Foundation of Canada to spread the word about kidney disease and the life-changing power of organ donation.
Designed for runners, walkers and strollers, the Kidney Walk raises money for research and support programs for patients.
For information and to register, visit https://kidney.akaraisin.com. You can also find out more at facebook.com/kidneywalkab.

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