Tiffany’s story is strangely ironic. During her career as a business development officer in Prince George she also volunteered for BC Transplant, distributing organ donor cards and generally advocating for kidney donation. She understands first-hand the complexities of organ donation amongst indigenous people – they are genetically more disposed to develop diabetes, and complications from high blood pressure and obesity result in a smaller pool of people in the community who are eligible to donate.
Tiffany was born with a very small left kidney, which eventually died. When she developed fibro muscular dysplasia, the restricted blood flow to her healthy right kidney decreased its function down to 15%. A tragic series of events followed. Her good friend Paul, for whom she had advocated, died on the transplant table. She lost her brother to suicide. She herself suffered depression, fueled by the thought that she if she begins dialysis she will like never return home to Haida Gwaii, nor to her job of travelling northern BC with the business development bank.
Now she herself needs a kidney. She has started the transplant pre-assessment process in Vancouver. She worries that she has not done enough to help others and questions if she is worthy of a second chance at good health. She says it felt good to give to people – it made her happy to see their responses, but now she no energy to give anything more.
Tiffany is proud to be a member of the Haida Nation. She wears a cedar bark hat hand woven by her in-law, Dunna Red.
If you or someone you know is in need of a kidney, has donated a kidney, or received one, and would like to be featured on photosforkidneys, contact us at:
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