One of Briana Greer’s earliest childhood memories was a conversation with a doctor at the hospital.
“I remember the one telling me that I need to be nice to my mom, because she might not have as much time with me as I might think.
“I’ve always known from when I was young that she’s sick and so I needed to not take everything for granted.”
Greer’s mom, 50-year-old Sheila Myshrall of Terrace in northwest B.C., has been living with kidney disease since 1986, but her kidney functions took a drastic turn for the worse and late last year she was added to the B.C. kidney recipients list.
“I’ve had three kidney biopsies done,” says Myshrall. “They keep trying to see if there’s something they can do, but there’s nothing that they can do and this is the last resort that they’ve come to now.”
The last couple of years have been especially hard on the family. During the pandemic they took every precaution to keep Myshrall from getting COVID, but another tragedy crept up on them.
Greer’s stepfather died from an aggressive form of cancer in 2021, one year after being diagnosed. Having lost her biological father when she was five, she’s hoping against the odds not to lose her mother.
“I really want my mom to be in my life for a very long time and have the chance to be an active grandparent when I do decide to have children. My stepdad was a very active parent in my life and he really was there for me.
“It was very difficult for me to see both of my parents be very sick in the last few years and at the same time. I don’t have a lot of biological family. I only have one living grandparent left.”
Because the condition is hereditary, Greer can’t be a donor herself and living donors are hard to come by. There’s a high need for kidney donations, Greer explained, with the combination of people donating and deceased donor kidneys not meeting demand despite a record-setting number of transplants last year according to the province.
“My mom’s doctor said that the best chance of a good life for her is to get a live donor. The only way you can really get a live donor is if someone in the community donates.
“They say family or friends, people from church or community, are the ones who usually donate. It’s very crucial in the next few months for my mom, with her kidneys being at 12 per cent functioning.”
The Métis Nation of British Columbia and Northwest B.C. Métis Association supported them with money to buy vehicle magnets and flyers, advertising their need in the community.
“I’m hoping that we can have a Christmas miracle and someone might feel for us,” said Greer.
Anyone wishing to donate, from anywhere in Canada, would need to call Vancouver General Hospital at 1-855-875-5182 and mention Sheila Myshrall’s name. Doctors would need to do tests to see if the organ is a match.
Separate teams work with recipients and potential donors so that there’s no breach of confidentiality.
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