The answer to “What is the Process?”

I find it strange almost everyone would accept a organ transplant if they needed one, but the majority of people have not taken 5 minutes to confirm being a organ donor.  I understand some racial groups are especially notorious for this.  This is confusing.  I think everyone should be automatically a donor, but they can opt out if they want to. living donor 1

My post today is to share information about the Living Donor Process.  Since I live in British Columbia, I will refer to Vancouver General Hospital.

Perhaps you have become aware that living donor transplants are being done more and more frequently. This is because of the huge improvements in surgery and the absolutely huge amount of precaution beforehand to ensure the donor is a good match and will remain healthy after the surgery.  The health of both the donor and the patient are of high priority concern to the transplant team.


living donor 2Why a Living Donor?

A Living Donor transplant enables a kidney patient to go straight to transplant, and the recipient’s health is better by avoiding dialysis.



Donor Criteria

  • Donors can live normal healthy lives with one kidney.
  • Donors must step forward to donate voluntarily.
  • Donors are carefully screened to ensure they are in good physical and emotional health and able to give informed consent to the transplant process.
  • Donors in BC must be at least 19 and there is NO UPPER LIMIT of age.
  • Donors are reminded that anytime, anytime they can choose not to proceed and they will never be pressured to donate.

Don’t Donors have to be related to the patient?

Often living donors are related, but they don’t have to be. A living donor can be a sibling, parent, child or a relative. A donor can be a friend, or a relative through marriage, a co-worker or just a member of the community.

What are the Steps? 

Step 1 : Pre- Screen.  You can begin the process by calling Pre-Transplant Services at Vancouver General Hospital – toll free 1-800-663-6189. The pre-screening is done by filling out a medical and social history questionnaire. If no concerns, the nurse coordinator will arrange for a blood type and cross match test to check for compatibility.

Step 2:  Everything going well so far, next you will need to do a number of tests to ensure it is SAFE for you to donate. This might involve your family doctor.

Step 3: Everything still smooth, the laboratory and diagnostic tests confirm it is safe for you and if you still want to proceed then the next step is to meet the members of the Transplant team at Vancouver General Hospital.  This actually takes place over TWO days  as there are different parts of the team to meet, some procedures to be performed. This step results in all your questions being dealt with and the team is confirmed of your ability to provide informed consent.  I think another result is confidence because you see the depth of the experience and the knowledge of the team who are there to ensure you remain healthy and not just for the patient. Everything is strictly confidential, and are not shared with the patient.

Step 4: Surgery and Recovery.  Donors usually spend as little as 2 nights in the hospital after surgery and as long as 4 nights. Total recovery requires between 4 – 12 weeks of time. Surgery is done using advanced minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery which is safe and results in faster recovery time.  It is still a surgery of course, so there is possibility of problems as with any surgery but the risk of dying from donating a kidney is 0.03%.  The risk of serious complications is about 1-2%.

If you want to know more –

Or just call the VGH Living Donor Program – tel: 604-875-5182 or toll free 1-855-875-5182

Thanks for reading, and the international online friendship you provide. God Bless you all.


Posted in health | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Unexpected, welcome, and appreciated


coffee shopI have discovered that people are surprised by compliments or expressions of appreciation.

I don’t mean with family, or your closest friends – they aren’t surprised. I mean the people you see regularly, but you don’t know their birthday,  but you aren’t a stranger neither.

The cost is free, the time it takes is negligible to give a sincere compliment but the effect is long lasting.

I worked in an office in Vancouver decades ago, and this event is still remembered. One of my coworkers took the time one day to mention she noticed I took the time to dress well for work (ironed shirts, ties) everyday.  She complimented me on my appearance.  It struck me because the compliment was unexpected but appreciated. I don’t remember her name but I recall how I felt because she took the time to say a few kind words. Unexpected, welcome and appreciated.

After finishing my consultation with my doctor a few years ago, I advised him I had one more thing to talk to him about.  He waited, expecting another medical question. Instead I thanked him sincerely for being my family doctor since 1992, and that I noticed and appreciated how he periodically called me in to review my health situation and proactively took an interest.  My doctor was at a loss for words.  To my surprise, he wasn’t used to being thanked for his caring and professional services. Unexpected, welcome and appreciated.

friendshipA few days ago, I received a compliment from a man who became a friend in recent years., an encouraging supportive friend. The generous compliment resonated to me because it was unexpected, welcome and appreciated.

I can live for two months on a good compliment. – Mark Twain

Kindness starts with how we speak and talk to our fellow humanity – try an experiment. Give a verbal box of chocolates to someone you know but not someone you know really well, someone who gives you good service, but not someone you know as a close friend- observe how it refreshes their day.  Unexpected, welcome and appreciated – but it won’t be forgotten. I guarantee it.

Thank you sincerely to the followers, and visitors of this blog, I enjoy your comments, and visiting your blogs. I appreciate your interest, feedback and encouragement, I really do.

Posted in Thinking Out loud | Tagged , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Watching the People Go By

In the sunny burg where I live, Penticton, on Saturday mornings there is a big farmer’s market every week from May to October.  All together it is about 4 blocks of market chaos.  {click farmer’s market  or Penticton to learn more}

One block is dedicated to farmers,  and there is all types of produce, and plants for sale at this time of the year. There is also fish, sausage, wine tasting, and everything of that ilk.

Another block is foods from thai food, samosas to artisan baking.

Another block is all types of things, from vinaigrettes to home made soaps, popcorn, perogies to amazing wood carvings.

Organized chaos, sort of organized but only sort of.

Yesterday I sat down on a bench to watch the parade of humanity stroll by.

  • Families with parents trying to keep track of energetic children,
  • Mommies pushing strollers,
  • Tourists,
  • People in shorts,
  • People without shirts,
  • Tall people,
  • Short People
  • Serious and joyful people

But what really struck me was how I was drawn to the body language of those people who held hands.  Men and women, sisters, fathers and sons,  best friends and young and seasoned alike.

The ones who were holding hands were most connected, most relaxed and obviously this is my opinion also, they looked the happiest.

Some locked arms at the elbow, some tucked one arm in the elbow of their companion and as they did you could actually see their steps start to sync as together they journeyed the noisy bustle of the bumping crowds.

But now people parted for the two of them, and the couples stopped together to admire loaves of bread or tomatoes ready to plant. In my mind I imagined their breathing syncing and their heart rate and blood pressure relaxing. The struggle to stay connected was gone.

Life seems often to be often to be about resolving conflicts and differences, but these couples were communicating, sharing and moving together as one. Such a simple thing, holding hands to talk, to walk together – planting unity and harmony with intertwined fingers and arms. 

annie-spratt-54462.jpgGo for walk with someone you care about soon, and when you do, get a little closer, and see what I mean. 

Thank you for taking the time, and sharing your day! If you liked this post, I would love to hear what you liked, thanks.


Posted in health, South Okanagan Restaurants and Other Jewels, Thinking Out loud | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

One Way to Prepare for the UK

Today I share a blog of a lass who makes me smile, she has wit and light writing style!
BONUS- the video has a great soundtrack and visuals for someone on a treadmill! I triple heart it!

Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

Prepare to drive on the wrong side of the road in the UK
I will travel far and wide in Europe this summer and will drive during part of the trip.

No big deal, right? I drive all the time. But I’ve never driven in the UK where they drive on the wrong side of the road. Whoa.

Why am I freaking out?

It always takes me a while to get used to doing something new. Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m a spazz. My tennis coach used to take my arm and move it through the motion of every new stroke. When I tried Zumba, I was shamed by the elderly ladies dancing the Samba for the first time.

Don’t get me started about my left hand. I never know what it’s doing. Just last night, I held a key in my hot little left hand and forgot about it.

“Where’s the key?” asked my husband, Danny.

“I don’t know, ” I said…

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Killing Me Softly and Sweetly

American Pie – Don McLean’s ballad certainly is a catchy tune and just the title may have started you singing the chorus.

Bye, bye Miss American Pie
Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die
This’ll be the day that I die

But this post is only indirectly about Don McLean. A blog writer friend, Terry, writes about his love of 70’s music and he often includes trivia about the song.  This post was inspired by Terry’s research about Killing Me Softly.

The main reason for this post is a recent post is a lovely song,  Killing Me Softly, by Roberta Flack shared by Terry. The inspiration for Killing Me Softly was Don McLean. I have my suspicions that it was his song ” Starry Starry Night as it is a wonderful song. Click to See and hear Starry Starry Night here.

Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and grey
Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colours on the snowy linen land
Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free
They would not listen
They did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now


I have listened to that Killing Me Softly about 20 times now in the last few days. What a wonderful talent and voice Roberta Flack has.  Her voice is mesmerizing to me.

Strumming my pain with his fingers
Singing my life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
Killing me softly with his song
Telling my whole life with his words
Killing me softly with his song
I heard he sang a good song, I heard he had a style
And so I came to see him to listen for a while
And there he was this young boy, a stranger to my eyes


If you enjoy a wonderful voice, and are not afraid of getting a tune in your head, then enjoy the link here for Killing Me Softly , and thanks Don McLean for inspiring these song writers, whichever song it was.

fingers 5


Thanks for reading, listening, following and especially your comments.  Thank you Terry for the interesting post and trivia.

I appreciate you readers!


Posted in music related | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Scottish Mysteries to tickle your heart

A New York best selling author, M.C. Beaton, continues to create light hearted mysteries that cause me to chuckle out loud.

Hamish Macbeth, is a Scottish policeman, content in his small village with his animals and easy lifestyle.  He solves the homicides and ducks the credit and promotion so he continue to live in his small home with the stuck front door.

Hamish, a old fashioned romantic cop with flaming red hair, also continues in each story to attempt to solve his ongoing bachelorhood but alas he just can’ t get over his true love, Priscilla. No luck there, but he has his dogs, and his freedom.

Cover of Death of a GhostIf you want a light read, with warm characters, humour and a touch of whimsy, enjoy the Hamish Macbeth series – I just finished “Death of A Ghost” but there are many in the series and they are all wonderful.

I love recommending authors whose books lift my spirits, and her books certainly do.

Click here to see others in the series, Enjoy! 



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Burning out his fuse

Anyone who reads my blog knows I love the music of the 70’s.  Ah, the 70’s were the only years for music in my mind and I love going back and revisiting the songs of yesteryear, which in my mind, is not that far away.

2013-04-06 08.04.22

Can I look now?

The definition of denial, I know.

Elton John continues to be a music celebrity now but in the 70’s, his hits were on everyone’s lips.

One song that perhaps had more depth than you first interpreted is Rocket Man.


As you watch this video, I think you will sense the song is more about the average man, and the sacrifices he makes and possibly grew up watching his father make.

She packed my bags last night pre-flight
Zero hour nine AM
And I’m gonna be high as a kite by then
I miss the earth so much I miss my wife
It’s lonely out in space
On such a timeless flight

Thanks for reading, and watching.  This video post is made with a dedication to Terry in Florida who shares my love of the 70’s music. Rock on Terry!

Posted in music related | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Love the Life You’re In

Some messages bear repeating and so I am pleased to reblog this.

Please take a moment to absorb and think how you could in some degree improve your life and avoid a regret in life.

Life After 50

Despite our best efforts to embrace each & every day, some days can be more difficult than others, in seeking gratitude for the life we have been given.

To love the life we are in.

In a world where we are inundated daily with images of people seemingly living much richer, happier & fuller lives, it is easy to fall into the mindset that we are somehow missing out.

But the truth is that challenges come to all of us in some shape or form.

Life is not perfect.  For anyone.

Nor does it last forever.

Recently, I have sadly been reminded once again, of how very precious each & every day we are given in life is.

How one moment we appear to have an infinite number of days to embrace the dreams we hope to fulfill, only to suddenly have that option taken from us.

How important…

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Put aside your worries, and do something that makes you smile

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Me Caveman, You Neanderthal

I think I was in Grade 7 when my science teacher, Mr Steele, at Sir Matthew Begbie school in Vancouver introduced to us students the versions of humans that had been discovered before including Neanderthals.

SAMSUNG DIGIMAX 420Interestingly I thought I would never again hear “Neanderthals” mentioned again, with the possible exception when my family talk about my taste in music. I’m not Neanderthal! The truth is, I like 1960 & 70’s music, and uncouth beasts they have forgotten that Neanderthals are way older than me, they would have to be aged 62 at least by now, not aged “39” (ahem) like moi. Pardon my math Mr Steele!

Ahem, I digress obviously.

Now you might be surprised to learn nearly all of us homo sapiens still carry the Neanderthal genome, , some of us up to 5%, and I suspect a few more than that.  See here

David Folstad SFU Student cardPotentially this could be something I can use, an excuse possibly to slouch? or order extra meat on my pizza? Walk around barefoot and wear a leopard loin cloth?

Just thinking about this makes me want to beat my chest, howl at the moon and grow my hair long and wear coveralls again.

This Neanderthal genome could come in handy! eyebrows lifting

Thanks for reading! Comments always welcome.






Posted in humor | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments