KAMLOOPS — There are millions of people around the world living with kidney disease. Many will wait years for a kidney transplant.
Today, on World Kidney Day, local woman Freda Brown is speaking out about her own struggles with kidney disease.
Freda Brown began showing symptoms of kidney disease in 2007 and within the year, one of her kidneys was removed.
Two years ago she began preparing for dialysis.
"I've started dialysis now and three days a week I go up to the hospital and get treated and if I don't get a living donor, I will be looking at doing home dialysis," Brown said.
Brown and her husband Howard have been heavily involved with the Kamloops Blazers Hockey Club, but recently Freda has been unable to attend the games.
"After being down there since 1993 it's hard not being down there with all the volunteers and all the staff. It's just terrible. And I miss all my boys that I work with, all the media group and the scouts. But, hopefully tomorrow night I'm going to make it after dialysis, we're going to head down and have one last night."
The Browns have become advocates for kidney health and organ donation, canvassing for National Kidney Month.
Howard is hoping he will be a match for Freda.
"It's been a learning process, extremely, but it's also been a nice process to go through believe it or not," Howard said. "If I could be a cross-match for Freda that would just be unbelievable."
Meantime, the Browns have been surrounded by love and care.
"We don't have family here, but we've been with the Kamloops Blazers for so many years that the support group down there is incredible," Howard said.
In Canada, more than 3,000 people are on the waiting list for a kidney transplant.
"Think what you're doing," Freda said. "You are giving somebody back their life. And what more amazing thing could anybody do than to give a life to someone."
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