(Jaime, Mike and their son Taylor Roberts. Jaime will receive her gift of life on December 10. Photo: Submitted)
This past week, Jaime Roberts reached out to us to share her personal story of living life with Kidney Disease and the wonderful gift her husband, Mike, is sharing. Thanks to the Living Donor Program at the Ottawa Hospital, Jaime will be given the opportunity to receive a living, healthy kidney. The Program supports patients and their families living with kidney disease and allows patients to bypass the lengthy provincial deceased donor list.
My name is Jaime Roberts. My husband is Mike Roberts, an Ottawa Firefighter. We have been together 26 years – since we were 16. We have been married 20 years this coming July. I was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2001, just months before our wedding.
I have now been living with kidney disease for almost 20 years. We had our son in 2005 and saw my kidney function drop from 60% to 35%. Our son, Taylor is now almost 16. Over the last 3 years my kidney function has been declining quite quickly. As of Monday this past week, my latest lab results show that I am now in end stage kidney failure.
Two years ago, my husband contacted the living donor program at the Ottawa Hospital to see if he could be a match for me. He was! We have been told that this is not that common.
The transplant is now scheduled for December 10th, as long as everything goes smoothly.
My husband, Mike has been my best friend for 26 years. He is my hero. He was in the tool and die industry for 12 years straight out of college, until the manufacturing industry started struggling. In 2010, he was let go from his job. Now at 33 years old, he was forced to go out and find work.
After many conversations together, he decided that he wanted to serve his community. He applied for the Ottawa Police and the RCMP. After passing all of the required testing, he was offered an interview with the RCMP.
During this time he had also applied to be a volunteer firefighter in Stittsville at Station 46. What he discovered is that he loved it; so much so that he decided policing wasn’t for him, but to serve as a firefighter for his city became the goal. He was a volunteer firefighter for 5 years while working for the NRC full time; he passed the extensive testing to become a Professional Firefighter with the City of Ottawa in 2015. Now at the age of 38, he began his new career.
Mike is a quiet hero. He has never liked the term, “Hero”, but he has always been mine. He has always put the needs and wants of Taylor and me above everything else to ensure our family security and safety. In my 42 years, I have never met a better person than Mike.
And now, here we are – getting ready to start a new life challenge together, (as we always do), as he gives me the gift of life. What a lucky woman I am. I guess I shouldn’t expect any other Christmas gifts, right? LOL If our story touches you, it’s because of of the wonderful man I call my husband, my best friend, my partner in crime, my fishing buddy, my everything…Mike.
The first kidney transplant occurred at the Ottawa Civic Hospital Campus in 1966. The Ottawa Hospital states that the facility performs approximately 100 kidney transplants per year at the General Campus and they follow over 1,000 transplant patients in the Renal Clinic at the Riverside Campus.
Register to donate your organs or tissues at Canadian Blood Services, Living Donor Paired Donation Registry. To learn more about the Paired Donation Registry or organ donation overall, visit the Trillium Gift of Life Network. To learn more on Kidney Disease visit the Kidney Foundation website.
SUPPORT LOCAL STITTSVILLE