Quebec invests $1.5M in live kidney donor program
People with 2 good kidneys can be put on the list to donate to someone in need
Montrealer Suzanne Igaz helped save her son's life by offering up a kidney to a stranger.
She took part in the live kidney donor program — one that the Quebec government is injecting $1.5 million into over the next five years.
Health Minister Gaetan Barrette said Friday that the goal is to get the average donor rate up from six people per million to 20. The national average hovers around 13 people per million.
For Igaz, getting the word out about the program's existence is half the battle.
"I'm glad they are doing this to inform the public, that more and more people will get involved," she said.
Igaz signed up for the program after her son was put on the wait list. Currently, there are 786 kidney transplant patients on the list.
"I was paired up with a family in Toronto. So I gave to the husband and his wife gave to my son," she explained.
According to the Kidney Foundation of Canada, donating a kidney is the most frequent type of living organ donation.
"Normally everyone has two kidneys, although a person can live a healthy life with one."
After the surgery, Igaz took two months off work to recover but she said it was well worth it.
"It was a great experience. I gave him back his life. It was like giving birth again."
With files from CBC's Valeria Cori-Manocchio