Heather watched her father suffer through seven long years of dialysis treatments before he finally got a life-saving kidney transplant at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton Foundation (St. Joe’s). It was an exciting yet scary time for the whole family, but they had a lot of support through the process.
Seeing all the care that her father needed, gave Heather a greater awareness of the struggles of others, and she was inspired to help people facing the same situation.
For 12 years, Heather has participated in the Around the Bay Race in Hamilton in support of St. Joe’s, and plans to continue every year. She got her colleagues involved as well, and FCT was one of the first few corporate teams to participate in the race.
The call came late at night. My dad was told that they had a kidney and he had to come to the hospital right away. They called three people and whoever was the best match received the kidney. We weren’t sure how it was going to go; he had received calls like this before, but the kidney went to someone else.
I went through so many emotions that day—excited that the time had finally come, terrified that it was a major procedure and I may never see him again, hope that his body would accept the new kidney, exhausted because it was a long night… And finally, relief, when everything went well and he was back to his witty self.
My dad has gone through many health issues over the past few years and I saw firsthand all the support he needed from the hospital. The Around the Bay race helps fund the high quality patient care and research that my dad benefited from. I honestly can’t say enough about all of the doctors and nurses that took care of him before, during and after his kidney transplant on February 23, 2016. I feel that if it wasn’t for the care, dedication and support that my dad received, he wouldn’t be here today. I was determined to find a way to give back and make sure others are able to receive the same support when they need it. Taking part in the race every year is my way to do that.
I will be forever grateful to the doctors and nurses at St. Joe’s and will continue to support the important work that they do.