Paula Charlie hopes a suitable kidney donor can be found in the community. (Submitted photo)

Paula Charlie hopes a suitable kidney donor can be found in the community. (Submitted photo)

Vancouver Island woman needs a kidney donation

Paula Charlie hopes a match will be found

The Cowichan Valley’s Paula Charlie needs a new kidney.

The 44-year-old was diagnosed in 2017 with ANCA vasculitis in which the capillaries in the glomeruli, which are the filtering units in the kidneys, swell.

This impedes kidney function, and can lead to kidney failure.

Charlie said she was living a normal life until one day in 2017 when she woke up with what she thought was a flu.

But the symptoms persisted and when she was finally assessed by medical professionals, she was diagnosed with ANCA vasculitis.

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Charlie said she was on dialysis and chemotherapy for a year, and was fairly stable for the next two years, but now she is in stage five kidney failure and is in desperate need of a kidney replacement.

A person can live a fairly full and normal life with just one kidney.

“If my kidneys fail and I don’t have another one to replace them with, I will have to be put on a dialysis machine for at least a couple of hours every day until I get a new kidney, and the diagnosis is not good if another kidney is not found,” Charlie said.

“I’m not listed with any agency for a new kidney at this time, and Island Health has instructed me to first check and see if there are any family members or friends who would come forward to be tested to see if they are a match.”

Charlie said she has sent out messages on social media to family and friends and she is hoping a number of them would be willing to be tested to determine if they are a match. She is also putting the word out to the community at large.

“I decided I better be as prepared as I can, and am hoping for the best of luck,” said Charlie, who is blood type O-positive.

“If anyone comes forward, they would be asked to go for blood work and a check on their overall physical health. If they show promise, they would be asked to do more testing.”

Charlie can contacted at 250-732-7139, or email at salishnahv@gmail.com.

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