While the world is in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the need for organ donations does not go away.

Please join the Canadian Transplant Association’s Green Shirt Day and see if we can keep the Logan Boulet Effect going… Let’s register, call your friends, call your family… be inspired by Logan’s story.

Let’s see if we can find a kidney for my good friend Curtis, who is still waiting for a life altering kidney transplant.

Let’s see if we can change his, or someone else’s, life.

 

 

In British Columbia, you can register to be an Organ Donor, here:
https://register.transplant.bc.ca/

 

To find out more about the Organ Donor Program in BC, click here:
http://www.transplant.bc.ca/our-services/organ-donor-registry/

 

To find out more about Logan Boulet, and Green Shirt Day, click here:
https://greenshirtday.ca/

 

 

When I heard my good friend Curtis needed a kidney, I, along with 12 others, signed up right away. The process started with lab tests, then tests of my heart and lungs. I even had the “joy” of wearing a BP monitor for 24 hours…TWICE! Things were progressing well, but after these tests, I was the only donor who was viable to go forward.

Curtis - Doing his dialysis - Every four hours, every day - MikeStarchuk.comI began this journey to become a kidney donor late in 2018, when I found out Curtis’ first kidney transplant had failed, after 9 ½ years. Things were going along quite well and I was finding out along the way, my current health condition was very good. We got to a point in the testing process where it was determined I could not directly donate to Curtis. There was some sort of anti-body mismatch and the hopes of donating directly, were gone. It was disappointing to all, but the journey wasn’t over.

There is a program at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver BC, that partners a kidney to the patient in need. Knowing there was another way to help Curtis, I continued the testing to see if there was going to be a possible match of my kidney for someone else who also had a partner with a kidney, that matched Curtis.

At the beginning it felt strange to think my kidney was going to go into a stranger. But after talking with my children, who are wiser than they believe, I decided to go through with it. I was willing to lie down on an operating table and wake up later with one less kidney, knowing that Curtis would get his life back. So why would it matter where my kidney ended up as long as Curtis could return to a normal lifestyle?

The final two tests that I had, took place at St. Paul’s Hospital where I had a renogram and a CT scan with dye. After the renogram was done, things were looking bright because it was very obvious my kidneys were functioning equally. So, it seemed like it was just a formality to map out the kidneys with the CT scan. Unfortunately, this is where the journey ended. The CT scan indicated there was some calcification on one of the arteries. Because the doctors at St. Paul’s place a high priority on the donor’s health, it was determined I would not be a candidate.

It had been about eight months to get to where I was in the process. It was disappointing as hell. But from a personal perspective I definitely had a clean bill of health knowing full well that I had the most detailed and complex medical evaluation of my life.

Now the story changes for me, but not Curtis. Curtis still has to find a private place to perform his own personal dialysis every 4 to 5 hours, each and every day. To put it into perspective, medical supplies that Curtis go through on a daily basis, would fill one and a half photocopy paper boxes. Curtis is virtually handcuffed on a daily basis to these medical supplies, which makes it impossible to travel any great distance. As you can imagine this is not a great way to live one’s life.

The story now goes out to the general public as we shake the trees to see if someone can step up and become a living kidney donor. I’m asking you to look at these links and consider stepping up to the most rewarding challenge you will ever face. The testing is done at your own pace and your own schedule. It’s done privately and confidentially and quite frankly the information you get while you’re going through this process is good for your body and soul.

Curtis is a good friend of mine, and we need your help.

Please share this, repost this, print this, talk about this, and help me, help Curtis, get his life back.

 

Find out more about donating, by clicking the link below:

Transplant BC’s – Living Donation Program – Potential Donor & Patient Guide

 

 

 

I will be the Emcee at the third annual Black Tie Event for the Lark Angels Foundation on September 20th at the Sheraton Guildford Hotel.  I have been a ticket holder to this event from Day One and I am pleased to assist this organization as they take the next steps to create their first sensory stimulation room in Surrey.

The Lark Angels Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to the lives of our senior population, especially those suffering with Dementia, a brain disorder affecting their thinking, behaviour and ability to perform everyday tasks.

Dementia can happen to your mother, your father, your sister, your brother, your neighbour, your friend… it can happen to you.

Lark Angels Foundation - 2019 Black Tie Gala Fundraiser - MikeStarchuk.comThe Lark Angels Foundation goal is to build Sensory Stimulation rooms, designed to reach and open minds to the five senses – sound, smell, touch, sight and taste.  These rooms have proven to be beneficial to seniors with dementia, when no other suitable situations are provided. If people living with dementia have nothing to do, they might become increasingly isolated, frustrated, bored and unhappy. A sad, but true, scenario is watching them sit hour by hour staring into space while their brain, like a puzzle, loses one piece at a time.

Dementia can cause memory loss, loss of vocabulary, change of moods, faulty reasoning, and disorientation, to name a few symptoms.  It is recognized that sensory deprivation and lack of appropriate activity has a devastating impact on a person’s well-being and health.  Older people in particular, who are limited in their physical and cognitive abilities, need to be offered, and helped to engage in, activity that provides multi-sensory stimulation as they may not be able to access this kind of stimulation on their own.    

Everyone needs sensory stimulation in order to comprehend the world around them. The only way we can get information into our brains is through our senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, smell and movement. 

Linda Fernholm, Patrick Doyle & Janet Isherwood, directors of Lark Angels Foundation, hope to have, with the help of Associated Health Systems, the first sensory stimulation room built later in the Fall of 2019.  These sensory stimulation rooms will be open to the public and Lark Angels Foundation will rely on donations to support these rooms.

I hope you’ll attend and if you are not able to attend, they ask you to consider becoming a sponsor of this special event and/or donate a gift for the Silent Auction. They are always looking for help and generous support from large corporations and small businesses within our community to help make this happen.

Please join me in helping them in their quest to build these sensory rooms and buy tickets ($100 per person) and/or donate by emailing Janet at info@larkangelsfoundation.org or by phoning Lara at 778-868-9172.  Donation receipts will be issued at that time.

 

Charity #77740 8113 RR0001 

The Surrey Policing Transition Report was released on June 3rd at 1:00 pm, and is 189 pages in length. The closed Council meeting only lasted two hours before the report was voted on and sent to the Provincial Government in its present form.

I read for two hours and could only manage to get to page 123. By the time I made it through the document, I spent nearly three hours and had made notes with 27 questions. How informed was Council in the two hours they had, to disseminate the information, before they sent the report to the Provincial Government?  Why did they keep the report out of the community engagement process? These are the questions I hope are answered as the rest of the public is left wondering how factual the numbers are.

Today I was on Pulse FM and had the time to speak with host Tara Lopez about the transition report and what the Mayor says it will cost.

https://soundcloud.com/pulse1077/micinthecity-on-pulse-mornings-june-4-2019

The interview opened up the dialogue with respect to the numbers. Both in budget numbers and the numbers of personnel.

What I found during my second read-through, were some deficits surrounding the Special Investigations Section. Specifically, Sophie’s Place, which starts on page 94 and continues on page 95. What caught my eye was, in the report where it said there is “child friendly space for children up to and including 18 years of age living in Surrey…” Sophie’s Place provides care for children zero to nine years of age.  With this glaring incorrect statement, I began to look at this part of the report with greater intensity.Sophie's Place - Child Advocacy Centre - MikeStarchuk.com

Sophie’s Place holds a dear spot for Surrey Fire Fighters as they are the ones who, in 2012, created much of the space for this program. Let me give you some background.  Sophie’s Place is the 1st child advocacy centre to open in B.C.  It’s a place where children that have been sexually or physically abused can go and get wrap-around service from specialized RCMP officers, victim services, counselling and much more.  As a firefighter I was part of this group when it was first set up in 2012. 

Currently there are seven specialized RCMP CASO (Child Abuse and Sexual Offence Unit) working at Sophie’s Place investigating abuse against children aged zero to nine. 

On February 7, 2019 Mayor Doug McCallum and Surrey City Council unanimously passed a corporate report
https://www.surrey.ca/bylawsandcouncillibrary/CR_2019-R027.pdf 
to enter into a 10 year lease and expand Sophie’s Place with an additional 11 Special Victims Unit officers and two staff, so that services could be expanded to include children aged 10 to 15. 

In the Surrey Policing Transition Report, those 11 officers and two admin are clawed back, and services to abused children ages 10 to 15 are taken away. We cannot let these vulnerable children fall through the cracks. We cannot allow this Council to endorse a Corporate Report in one month, and then a few months later, dismiss those details and omit this here.  To state that any additional resources will come from Surrey PD Sex Crimes Unit is nothing short of ludicrous. There is nearly one new file opened every day. The expansion of programming for youth 10 to 15 years of age, is the reality of what is happening in our society.

Stand UP and SCREAM at the top of your lungs for these young victims! If we don’t, the predators win.

Stats:

  • 1 in 3 Canadian girls will be sexually assaulted before reaching adulthood
  • 1 in 6 Canadian boys will be sexually assaulted before reaching adulthood 
  • 1 in 5 children will be solicited sexually while on the internet 
  • 60% of children sexually abused never report their abuse.