Jim Butterfield is hoping for the best Father’s Day present he can imagine — a kidney for his son.
During the Christmas holidays of 2018, Mike Butterfield was diagnosed with a genetic condition he unknowingly had his whole life — polycystic kidney disease, or PKD.
The disease causes kidney failure and affects about one in every 500 Canadians. It is more common than Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy, yet it is much less known.
Mike, 44, is otherwise healthy and lives in Vancouver. He graduated from University College of the Cariboo (predecessor to Thompson Rivers University) with a commerce degree in the late 1990s and grew up playing sports — “hockey, soccer, everything,” his dad, Jim, said — in 100 Mile House.
Jim and Rosalyn Butterfield of Kamloops are not only trying to find a kidney for their son, but are seeking to raise awareness of the disease, as well.
“There’s only so much we can do as parents,” Rosalyn said. “We’re basically just taking on the role of advocates and trying to get the word out on social media and things like that. We’re telling all our friends.”
Mike now has Stage 4 kidney disease and will soon need either a live organ transplant or to go on dialysis, with the former being a much better option for his long-term health, his parents said.
Jim said everyone in their family has been tested, but none are possible donors. Adding to his worries is the impact COVID-19 has had on organ donation so far this year.
With about 800 people waiting for a kidney in B.C., only 32 transplants have been done so far this year, compared to 120 in total last year, Jim said.
“He’s our only son and he’s a good man and he deserves to have a better outcome,” Rosalyn said.
Anyone interested in learning more about how to become a living kidney donor can contact the St. Paul’s Hospital Living Donor Program by phone at 1-877-922-9822 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Reference Michael Ross Butterfield, birthdate June 30, 1975.
For more information, visit http://renal.providencehealthcare.org/services/living-kidney-donor-program.