What a Father’s Day story: A New Brunswick man gave his father one of his kidneys this weekend. Bet most of you didn’t top that.
The transplant from Dana to Arthur Cruikshank happened on Friday. Daddy Cruikshank had been on dialysis for years and was getting sicker. He was on the waiting list for a donor kidney, but none was forthcoming. That’s when Dana stepped up and told Dad to take his.
Both men were still recovering after surgery in Halifax when Father’s Day came around on Sunday. “The ties and shirts my brother and sister give Dad are going to fade in comparison,” the younger Cruikshank joked to reporters. So do all the presents from the rest of us: I got my dad a measly Home Depot gift card. He’s happy to spend it on indoor/outdoor paint, but it’s not quite the same as the gift of being able to produce urine reliably for the first time in years.
Speaking of organ donation – which is something I do often – I just signed away all the rights to my organs and tissues online. The BeADonor.ca website is a new initiative in the province of Ontario. Of course, this transfer of tissues doesn’t kick in until after I kick the bucket. But it’s a great way to make sure that my guts are put to good use when I’m gone.
A few factoids: you can save up to eight lives and improve the quality of up to 75 more by donating your organs and tissues. And there’s no age limit to be a donor. But there’s a severe shortage of available organs, and people are dying – frequently – because they didn’t get the transplant they needed.
Ultimately, it’s up to the next of kin whether or not organs are donated after death. But according to the Trillium Gift of Life Network, the provincial agency that deals with organ donation, most families agree to it once they realize it’s what their dear departed would have wanted. So it’s worth signing up.
Think of it as one last Father’s Day gift. Except to someone else’s father. Who might actually be a mother, or a brother or a daughter. I bet they’ll all think it’s cooler than a Home Depot gift card.