Kidney donation gets boost on Parliament Hill

Kidney donation gets boost on Parliament Hill
Ottawa man gets 'all-party' support in kidney search

Ottawa resident Garry Keller is in a race for time with his failing kidneys.

He takes dialysis on a regular basis and is fine for now but his life depends on getting an organ donation.

Keller has worked on Parliament Hill for more than a decade as a parliamentary assistant. On Wednesday at work he got some "all-party support" in his search for a new kidney.

Dozens of MPs from both sides of the house showed up to take blood tests to see if they were a match for a donation.

New Democrat Pat Martin was the first. He said he'd be glad to ante up a kidney.

"As long as I am a match," Martin said. "If Garry needs it I've got two, albeit they have some hard miles on them.

"If they are eligible it would do my heart good to give one to Garry."

Keller, now chief of staff to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird, was awed by the fact so many people were rolling up their sleeves for him.

"It's an honour and a blessing so many people have come forward to get tested today," Keller said Wednesday.

Baird helped organize the event.

"We are hoping this huge outpouring of interest will help out nationally," the minister said. "It's a huge problem, but there is a solution."

Keller agreed.

"By coming forward with my story, it's a win-win for the kidney program. It brings attention to the need for organ donations across the country."

The numbers of people kept alive on dialysis machines while waiting for a kidney continues to soar across the country.

"Nationally there are 1,200 kidney donations a year but in Ontario alone there are 1,800 people waiting for a kidney, " said Nadine Valk of the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

Keller may not find a life-saving kidney match on Parliament Hill, but he said he hopes his story will convince living donors elsewhere to at least think about saving someone else's life.

Kidney donation gets boost on Parliament Hill - Ottawa - CBC News
I just thought I would bump this clearly misleading and partisan thread from 4 days ago.

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