(Eileen Winters is accompanied by Stittsville’s official bagpiper Jordan McConnell as she walks in memory of her sister for the virtual Kidney Foundation walk on September 27, 2020. Photo: Stittsville Central)
There is nothing like waking up to the sound of bagpipes filling the air, especially when played for the benefit of a life-saving cause. Jordan McConnell, Stittsville’s official bagpiper, accompanied Eileen Winters as she performed her virtual walk for the Kidney Foundation on Sunday, September 27th.
In August we brought you Eileen’s story and the importance of supporting the Kidney Foundation. In 2004, Eileen’s sister, Sheila, required a kidney transplant. Having undergone a series of testing, it was confirmed that Eileen was a good match, being 80% compatible, to help her sister continue in life. Since that time, Eileen has been a loyal donor to the Kidney Foundation.
Some key facts associated with kidney failure:
- Cost per year for dialysis – approximately $100,000
- Costs first year after a transplant to Canada’s health care system – $66,000
- Cost for each additional year – $23,000
- Anti-rejection medications cost per year is approximately $6,000
- There are approximately 3,500 people awaiting a kidney transplant
Eileen continues to be extremely supportive of patients awaiting a transplant and to those who donate a kidney. Today, Eileen lives a healthy life with just one kidney and is grateful her kidney was a match and provided good health to her beloved sister, Sheila. Eileen’s gift helped to bring love and meaning to the life of Sheila for an additional twelve years.
As Eileen told Stittsville Central when we initially sat down with her, “we are born with two kidneys for a reason and that is to save another person’s life”.