A little information goes along way

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Tuesday’s Life of Legacy presentation shows why donations are important

Faye Pike (left) looks through a pamphlet with seminar presenter Susan Boiduk. Pike attended Tuesday’s seminar to get more information for her brother who’ll be donating a kidney to his nephew.

AMHERST - Faye Pike’s eyes glared in the light as they began to water. With a crooked smile and a lump in her throat she began to tell her story.

Pike’s son, Dr. Jeff Pike, requires a kidney transplant. After some searching, a match was found. Michael Webb, Faye’s younger brother is that match and he’ll do anything in his power to save his nephew’s life.

“It’s totally his decision, a decision that comes straight from the heart.”

The Legacy of Life program is holding information sessions across the region as Donor Awareness Week soon approaches (April 21 to 28).

Faye attended an information session Tuesday night at the Campbell’s Funeral Home in Amherst to gather information for her brother, who was unable to attend.

“His goal his to save his nephew’s life and I’m proud of him.”

Faye said it wasn’t easy to attend the information session but the strong support is what brought her there.

“The entire situation is mentally stressful, but I need the support,” she said.

Susan Boiduk, resource nurse at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre, hosted the session, that also included Sharr Cairns, co-ordinator of OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network.

Boiduk has traveled throughout the region on behalf of Legacy of Life to speak at different venues and to spread awareness.

In 2006, the Government of Nova Scotia created the Legacy of Life: Nova Scotia Organ and Tissue program to raise the public’s awareness of the importance of organ and tissue donation.

“A lot of other foundations have an awareness week, I think they decided they wanted to do something similar that highlighted organ and tissue,” Boiduk said.

Cairns began the presentation discussing stem cells and bone marrow transplants, followed by Boiduk’s presentation about organ and tissue donation.

The presentation focused mostly on what to expect if one does decide to become a donor, the procedures involved and the importance of becoming a donor.

Boiduk said she’s encouraged to see people interested in the subject and wanting to make a difference.

“They were a very good crowd. They asked great questions, I found they opened up a little bit and I was able to feed off of their questions.”

There are often misunderstandings with regards to organ donations and transplants. Boiduk attributes this to the lack of public awareness.

“Some people may have formulated ideas already which may not be accurate, just from not knowing. I think that’s why these kind of meet and greet sharing of information sessions are great.”

A lot of the misunderstandings are rooted in fear and unwarranted myths. As awareness continues to spread, Boiduk is confident more people will be willing to donate.

“(With regards to people donating) Oh yes, definitely. I think it all comes down to the big unknown. If you don’t know about something then you have this innate fear about it and hesitate. Information is about empowerment, the more knowledge you have the less fearful you are of something,” she said.

Boiduk said she feels inspired by the people she meets at these gatherings.

“It gives me energy about the cause.”

Boiduk herself is a donor and is adamant about the cause.

“Personally, I think it’s awesome.”

reporter@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: The Legacy, Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre, Government of Nova Scotia

Geographic location: AMHERST

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