Wanted: One kidney

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Leitches Creek man posts ad in Kijiji looking for donor

SYDNEY — Ken Wilkie is seeking out a new kidney on Kijiji.

Ken Wilkie hasn’t had to go on renal dialysis yet despite only having nine per cent kidney function. He’s hoping if he can find a compatible donor kidney through the classified website, Kijiji, he won’t need dialysis at the Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney. Cape Breton Post

The Leitches Creek resident posted an advertisement on the online classifieds site a week ago with the heading, “Boost Your Karma.”

In the ad, Wilkie does his best at selling himself as the ideal candidate to receive a kidney from a compatible donor.

“I am a hard-working father of two, I don't drink, smoke or do drugs so I promise I will look after your kidney,” he stated in the ad.

Up until recently, he did have an ideal donor lined up but after eight months of testing it was revealed she had early-stage cervical cancer and had no choice but to bow out.

Out of jest, he spouted off that he should look for a kidney on Kijiji. Then, he gave it another thought.

“Within 20 minutes of putting the ad on Kijiji I had a response. I’ve since gotten 38 responses from people that have offered to get tested,” Wilkie said.

It’s an extensive process to become an organ donor. Numerous tests are needed, including to test for blood type and to test for antibodies.

Wilkie has an A-positive blood type and could also accept blood from people who are type O, which make them a universal donor.

Wilkie’s kidneys are failing due to a genetic condition that has caused polycystic kidney disease. He said it means he can’t look to a family member as a potential donor.

Despite the disease, the 47-year-old said his health has only started to deteriorate in the past three years with some muscle cramping and ongoing fatigue.

Having to start renal dialysis will soon become a reality since he currently only has nine per cent function in his kidneys.

Wilkie said he’s concerned how that’ll affect his ability to work as a corrections officer at the Cape Breton Correctional Centre.

“They’ve tried three times to put a fistula in my arm to start dialysis but it’s failed all three times, so I’m running out of options.”

A fistula used for hemodialysis is a direct connection of an artery to a vein. Once it’s created, it is a natural part of the body and provides good blood flow that can last for decades.

It can be used whether dialysis is performed at a dialysis clinic or through home hemodialysis.

“I wanted to do the hemodialysis through the fistula so I could continue to work, but if I go with what’s called peritoneal dialysis, a tube is inserted into the lining of my peritoneal sac and I have to pump fluid in and out of that four times a day. That would preclude me from going to work,” Wilkie said.

Faced with those limited options, he’s hoping the ad, which has already been viewed more than 5,000 times — with responses from people as far away as British Columbia and Ontario — someone will be the perfect match.

However, when it comes to the program responsible for managing organ donations and transplants across Atlantic Canada, Wilkie’s method of advertisement isn’t a recommended strategy.

The multiple organ transplant program based in Halifax only permits preplanned organ transplants from a live donor to recipient in the case of family members, said Capital Health spokesman John Gillis.

He said the program doesn’t permit arrangements where a stranger wants to give an organ to another stranger, which is termed “anonymous directed donations.”

“There are processes where people can do what’s called an altruistic donation, where they would say, ‘I’m willing to donate an organ to whomever might need it,’ and there’s a process through Canadian Blood Services to match people,” Gillis said.

Permitting anonymous directed organ donations would likely raise ethical questions, as well as the motivations of the donor, he noted.

Wilkie said he was unaware of that policy. However, he said he still intends to keep his Kijiji ad posted.

He said he will also wait for the test results of those people who responded to his ad so far to see if any have the same blood type, and then continue from there.

“Like the ad says, ‘You can get anything on Kijiji.’ I figured I’d give it a try.”

Organizations: Cape Breton Correctional Centre, Capital Health, Canadian Blood Services

Geographic location: British Columbia, Ontario, Atlantic Canada Halifax

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Recent comments

  • lilian
    March 15, 2014 - 19:48

    Hi everyone, I am saying this because i can’t keep it to my self anymore now that am better and strong, I did an operation in India two months ago after a friend of mine directed me to PYRAMID Specialist hospital that they buy human kidney i did not believe him until i contacted them to confirm my self, I did not even believe them at first because i was told to register with the NKF some amount which i was not even having on hand at that time, After providing them all my information in their to know how serious i am, They give me an assurance of paying me 500,000.00 dollars which i was paid half of the money before i went to India for the operation which is the sum total of $500,000.00 Dollars after i paid the registration commission to their NKF. I am saying this because i want everyone out their who really want to be a kidney donor to contact them on the below email. My Name is Lilian Minton, contact them and you will see good result of what you want i know what am talking about. pyramidmedicalcenter@gmail.com

  • Balogh Coles
    March 12, 2014 - 19:43

    My name is Balogh Coles of UBTH(University of Benin Teaching Hospital, i am a specialist in organ Surgery, and we deal with the buying if organ from human who want to sell, and we are located in Nigeria, USA and in Malaysia, but our head office is in Nigeria. if you are Interested in Selling your Kidney Please do not hesitate to Get back to us so we can That Proceed further. And this is our Email if you are interested: baloghcoles@yahoo.ca

  • brad
    February 23, 2014 - 11:33

    Im willing to donate mine i lives ib newfoundland

  • giorgi
    November 26, 2013 - 16:00

    I want to be a kidney donor , o+ . i live in georgia , I am 29 years old , 171 sm. 75 kg

    • kx
      December 13, 2013 - 18:01

      please go to The Flood Sisters Kidney Foundation They saved their father's life by finding him a kidney on Craigslist, and they formed this life saving organization. www.floodsisters.org

  • Jim
    November 20, 2013 - 14:55

    I have been fortunate enough to be all over the globe and places most people never heard of and saying this would lead to black market organs is a joke because it already happens and if you have money you can get anything for a price,so if someone wants to step forward and donate a kidney and it's all done properly then there should be no one saying its wrong. He is not buying anything and there are people actually wanting to help so god bless them and I hope he gets what he needs.From one cape bretoner to another I wish you and your family all the best and if I could I would give ya one of mine bud .....

  • This is wrong
    November 18, 2013 - 11:26

    There is something ethically wrong in this type of behavior. This man should go through the proper channels like everyone else who has kidney disease. Human beings are more than sacks of meat which can be sold to the highest bidder. Such actions, if repeated on a large scale will eventual lead to an underground market for kidneys. Poor people from the third world will fill this demand in no time. Vulnerable people will be butchered for a quick dollar. It will be like the drug and sex tared only more serious to the people making the donations. Governments should make this practice illegal as soon as possible. No one has the right to good health at the expense of someone else.

  • Dave Bonello
    November 16, 2013 - 18:54

    Ken can have one of my kidneys...I guess

  • Cecilia White
    November 15, 2013 - 10:51

    I say if it's gonna save a persons life it doesn't matter how you go about it. If it means posting an ad on Kijiji, then so be it. I think it was a brilliant idea & I wish him & his family the best of luck. Alot of times it's the kindness of strangers that makes the world go around!! :)

  • Lyn
    November 15, 2013 - 10:48

    Why is overnight home peritoneal dialysis not being offered? Many people are being given this option in Ontario - in fact, PD patients are being encouraged to make this choice rather than doing twin bag exchange 4 times a day!

  • One less Kidney
    November 15, 2013 - 08:42

    The fact that he has polycystic kidney disease shouldn't preclude his family members from going through the process to see if they can become a donor unless they have already been tested for polycystic kidney disease (PKD). I donated a kidney to my mother who has PKD

  • Andrew Morgan
    November 15, 2013 - 06:38

    Hats off to Mr. Wilkie for using every possible online resource to look for a solution to his tragic problem. There is an urgent need for a formal & searchable link between the pool of potential donors and the pool of needy recipients for *many* medical purposes, not just kidneys. In my case, iffy health and the AB- blood type I inherited pretty much make me useless to anyone with A+ blood. Best of luck, my good man ...

  • Shauna
    November 15, 2013 - 00:46

    Really, you mean to tell me that since I do not know this man I cannot donate the kidney to him. Maybe if more people do what Mr. Wilkie is doing we would have more organ donations. Suppose if I donated one, would it be someone who paid for it or is in a higher standard that would get it. I believe that if I or someone else was a match and wanted to donate the kidney to Mr. Wilkie that we should be able to do that.

    • rachael
      November 15, 2013 - 09:50

      I think what the article is getting at is that there are really only two ways that people can choose to do a live donation at the moment. People can choose to donate to a family member, or they can be tested and matched up anonymously with someone that is already on the waitlist for a liver. I think it's great that Mr. Wilkie is bringing more awareness to the issue of organ donation, but the current system of anonymous donation is really the fairest way to organize things. If this was not the case there would be situations of people paying for donations, which is a really slippery slope. If Mr. Wilkie's doctors put him on the transplant list I really hope he is able to find a match.