- BC Games
NV kidney transplant recipient taking part in Ambleside charity walk
A North Vancouver man who recently underwent a successful kidney transplant will be showing off his new strength at the 2013 North Shore Kidney Walk & Run on Sunday, Sept. 22.
Bob Johnstone, who was given a new kidney at the end of May, is this year’s run honouree.
Marianne Farmer, a good friend and retired RCMP officer, donated her kidney to Johnstone, who has a form of kidney disease that is passed down from parents to children.
“I have all the energy in the world now, it’s unbelievable. I can’t thank Marianne enough for what she’s done,” says the 62-year-old, who will be walking two and a half kilometres for the event, which starts at Ambleside Park at 9 a.m. and ends at Navvy Jack Point Park near 21st Street. Runners will keep going another 2.5 kilometres to Dundarave Park.
Johnstone arrived at St. Paul’s Hospital a few hours before his transplant surgery, his friend already in the operating room.
“Marianne told me she was donating a kidney on June 27th of last year. It took all that time to get everything approved for the tissue match and other things,” he told The Outlook, adding he felt better very shortly after the operation. “As soon as they put the kidney in, it started working right away… My colour came back to my skin within half hour.”
He was out of the hospital within five days, and his friend left a day before.
“The first criteria is a matching blood type. If you don’t have the same type, you can’t get the kidney,” he says, adding his wife wasn’t a match.
Because finding an suitable match causes some people to wait up to five years for a transplant, Johnstone is urging people to register as organ donors. Eighty-five per cent of British Columbians are in favour of organ donation, according to the Kidney Foundation, but only 19 per cent are registered.
For more information or to sponsor Johnstone, visit northshorekidneyrun.ca.