'We're kidney twins': P.E.I. strangers bond over transplants from same donor
Annie MacDonald, Kim Moncion 'doing awesome' after receiving organ transplants
Annie MacDonald and Kim Moncion were strangers once, living close to each other but not knowing they'd be forever bound by the new lives given to them by the same organ donor.
MacDonald first found out about her "kidney twin" from a message sent from her friend, saying someone she knew was also going in for a kidney transplant at the same time.
"I looked into it and I was like, 'Oh my goodness, she's literally down the road,'" MacDonald said on CBC's Island Morning.
Although they live just 20 minutes apart, they hadn't met — until they went in to hospital at the same time to receive their transplants. They've gotten to know each other pretty well in the weeks since then.
"We've got a connection now," MacDonald said. "We're kidney twins."
Five years on dialysis
MacDonald had a long road leading up to her transplant.
After nearly five years on dialysis, she received a call from the hospital in August and was asked to sit down.
"I instantly knew," she said. "She told me and I ugly cried — I couldn't actually believe it was happening."
They had found a kidney for her.
Since receiving her transplant, MacDonald said colour has returned in her skin, and she's feeling healthy and more alive.
"I'm doing awesome," she said. "You wait so long and then everything happens quickly."
'Everything is feeling better every day'
Moncion received a similar call as her kidney twin.
She's been on dialysis since February and didn't expect the call to come as quickly as it did, since she'd only been on the transplant list for a month.
"I was completely shocked," she said.
"I had no idea that she was calling me to tell me that there was a kidney that had matched for me."
Like MacDonald, Moncion is feeling incredible.
"Everything is feeling better every day. It's amazing how quickly your body can recover from major surgery like that."
'They're my hero'
Now that they're both in good health, MacDonald said she'd like to reach out to the donor's family and tell them how thankful she is for the life she's been given.
They're my hero. It's amazing what gift they've given us.— Annie MacDonald
"Hopefully in a year I can send a letter to the family to let them know how grateful I am," she said.
"They're my hero. It's amazing what gift they've given us. Even if I don't hear back, at least I can reach out and tell them how happy I am and what they've given me."
Kidney walk on Sunday
MacDonald and Moncion's doctor, Dr. Derek Chaudhary, was moved by their touching story.
"To see both of these wonderful patients of mine get to this point, you can't help but smile, you can't help but cheer them on and feel good about it," Chaudhary said.
Chaudhary is honourary chair of the upcoming kidney walk taking place in Summerside and Charlottetown on Sunday.
The goal of the walk is to raise roughly $20,000, said Heather McGrath of the Kidney Foundation of Canada.
"We encourage the patients, their families, practitioners, the nursing staff and the general public to come and join us," she said.
Registration for the kidney walk will take place at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Victoria Park in Charlottetown and Credit Union Place in Summerside.
The walk begins at 2 p.m.
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With files from Island Morning