The experience that a family goes through when someone requires an organ transplant can be an incredibly stressful one. It can also be expensive, with many costs not considered or calculated initially.
That’s what Julie Dodds and her family recently discovered when preparing for her own kidney transplant.
Julie has a rare, hereditary kidney disease that has knocked her kidney function down as low as 13 per cent, which means either dialysis or a transplant will be required soon.
Husband Allan Dodds explained that with elective surgeries now available again in B.C., and a few living donors going through final tests for organ compatibility, they are hopeful the surgery can be done soon.
While they wait, Allan has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for some of the additional costs that come with transplant surgery.
Such costs include travel, accommodations, food and more for the potential three-month stay Julie will have following surgery. There will also be some medical costs.
“Vaccines aren’t covered,” Allan said, even though multiple vaccines will be required prior to surgery.
One potentially unique benefit of the surgery taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic is that people are already used to the process of wearing masks and using hand sanitizer, two things that will be required from people wanting to visit Julie after her surgery.
The family was hoping to raise at least $15,000 through the GoFundMe page and that amount has been surpassed, thanks to the generosity of the Kamloops community, including a fundraiser hosted by the Great Canadian Oil Change and Signature Signs.
Allan is especially grateful, given how challenging it has been to raise money this year.
“You can’t do fundraisers during COVID,” he said, explaining that traditional fundraising options such as dinners or golf tournaments aren’t possible given pandemic-related distancing orders.
Allan said he has seen names of donors on the GoFundMe Page that he did not recognize, only to look them up on Facebook and discover they were friends of friends who he may have never met, but were still willing to put some money toward the cause.
And he can’t express just how thankful he and his family are.
“We can only say thanks so many times,” he said.
To help and for more information, go online to gofundme.com and search “Julie Dodds.”