Girlfriend's kidney his gift for life

By Geoff Lee

January 10, 2018 12:43 PM

Ceanna Moan left, donated one of her kidneys to her Marwayne boyfriend Duncan MacDonald. The couple was aided in their recovery from surgery last summer by a pair of stuffed bears that one of MacDonald’s friends presented them on the condition the couple donated them to the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton which they gladly did. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

Duncan MacDonald is living proof organ transplants can not only save lives, but change them for the better too.
The 28-year-old Marwayne resident will be the host family face of the 2018 Transplant Trot, to be held at the Servus Sports Centre on Jan. 27.
MacDonald received a kidney from his girlfriend Ceanna Moan last July in a transplant operation in Edmonton that has improved his health and hopes for the future.
“It’s the quality of life. I was on peritoneal dialysis for about 14 months and I could kind of go about my daily life as best I can, but you’re pretty limited to that,” said MacDonald.
“You don’t feel that great; you’re pretty tired all the time. It’s probably been 10 years since I felt this good.”
He even said out loud during a phone interview from his truck that he might marry Moan some day, with Moan sitting beside him.
The couple will team up with other members from their two families to raise awareness about organ donation and transplantation at the trot, headed by the Canadian Transplant Association (CTA).
“This is our third one and we will be having a special recognition walk,” said Donna Krilow-Lorenz, CTA regional coordinator in Lloydminster.
That first lap around the track is set aside to celebrate living organ donors, families of deceased organ donors and organ or tissue recipients.
The recognition walk will take place at 10:15 a.m. following the start of the 5km walk or run 10 a.m. with early registration available online at the Running Room.
“We always allow the people who want to run—we have the track dedicated for the first 15 minutes, and after the recognition walk everyone else joins in,” explained Krilow-Lorenz.
She calls the recognition walk an emotional event.
“It shows that lives are being saved in our community.”
Krilow-Lorenz is a recipient of a kidney transplant herself.
“It is an emotional time, but it’s a celebration; you celebrate that second chance of life with your family and your friends,” she said.
Krilow-Lorenz calls Duncan “a great young man,” who spoke during the CTA’s national organ and tissue donation awareness week at City Hall in 2016.
“So it shows that he took about 18 months before he was able to get his transplant,” she said.
MacDonald has a rare incurable disease that attacks his kidneys and his doctor told him two years ago that he would need a new kidney in the future.
“I knew for six or seven years that was the path I was going to have to take at some time in my life, but we’re hoping it was going to be when I was in my 40s or 50s,” he said.
The young man will be on anti-rejection medications for life.
As for Ceanna, he said she is healthy, but still tired, noting that’s a normal symptom for most kidney donors as their bodies recover.
“They are losing an organ so it is hard on them for a little while, but then their other kidney grows to take up the load,,” said MacDonald.
He was able to work right up to a few days before the transplant as a heavy equipment operator.
MacDonald also has a bachelor of commerce degree in management, but his hours operating equipment allow him to keep frequent follow-up medical appointments.
“I’ve had really good benefits which helped me get through the dialysis and the transplant the last couple of years,” he said.
His mom, Darlene said her son did dialysis at home and is very thankful for all the people that supported him.
“He had many family, friends, neighbours people that he had played sports with all his life who also called in to donate a kidney to him,” she said, referring to a phone line given by doctors for potential donors to call and be tested.
“We’re just delighted to be selected as the host family and be able to promote organ and tissue donation. We see what it’s done for Duncan.”
She added her entire family is delighted to give back and spread the news about what a journey it’s been.
“We are glad to be able to share our experiences and the good news,” she said.
Over 1,600 Canadians are added to organ wait lists yearly according to the CTA.
MacDonald urges those who plan to register to donate organs upon their death to talk to their family about their choice to be a donor.
“I guess I am a really good case because I am young and in decent health other than my kidney—everybody always think that people who need organs are older people,” he said.

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