Skip to content

Maple Ridge woman searching for kidney donor online

Frustrated advocate trying to speed her father’s organ transplant
Joshy Reddy and her father Dan. He is in need of a kidney donor. (Special to The News)

A Maple Ridge woman is desperate to find her father a kidney donor.

Joshy Reddy has learned more about organ donation, dialysis, and health care than she ever wanted to know, but she still doesn’t have a donor for her father.

The Silver Valley mother fears her dad will become one of the many people who suffer kidney failure and are then forced to wait years to get a donor. There are more than 400 people in B.C. currently waiting for a kidney transplant.

So she created a two-minute video asking for a donor, and posted it on various social media platforms, where it has received a huge response.

“My dad is a very hard-working man, who has dedicated his whole entire life to his family and his children. But now his kidneys have failed, and he is in desperate need of a transplant,” she explains in the video.

“Unfortunately we have been unable to find a match within our family.”

In a voice flush with emotion, she appeals to potential donors and asks them to contact the Vancouver General Hospital transplant clinic at 604-875-5182 and quote the transplant number 25209 for her dad.

“My daughter taped it, and it took 12 tries because I kept breaking down,” Reddy told The News. “He’s my hero. He’s my best friend.”

Dan Reddy is 69 and moved to Canada from Fiji in 1974. He has worked as a truck driver, and would still be driving if his health permitted.

The video got a great response. It’s caught the attention of celebrities like DJ Goddess, broadcaster Steve Darling, and others. At least one woman from the U.S. – from Las Vegas – indicated she would be willing to be a donor. Other people have also indicated they are willing.

Reddy was hopeful that she had hit a jackpot, and the transplant could happen quickly, but has been frustrated by the process, medical bureaucracy, and not knowing “where things stand.”

The process of getting a donor from out of the country is complicated, and the Vegas donor might not work out. But she doesn’t know where the process is at.

Her father has run all the tests that are needed to get a kidney transplant and is a prime candidate.

“Everything is a go. He’s ready for a transplant,” said Reddy.

But there is no donor that she knows of. Staff at VGH will say only that they have received calls, but not from who, and not even how many calls there have been.

Despite what hospital staff are not saying recently, Reddy was told to continue her search. Medicos have told her privately to keep advocating for her father.

In the meantime, her father gets dialysis. Three times a week, he is driven to Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster. For four hours at a time, machines remove toxins and extra fluid from his blood – doing the job his kidneys used to perform.

“Dialysis is a very hard thing,” said Reddy. “It’s hard on his body.”

“We tell him to keep positive, and he tries to,” she added. “My mom takes good care of him.”

He is fortunate to be an A-positive blood type, which gives him more potential matches. He can match with people who are A-positive and negative, and O-positive and negative.

Reddy has learned the Kidney Foundation will reimburse expenses such as travel and hotel costs for donors.

While costs are covered, there can be no financial payment for a donation.

“You can’t buy a kidney – it has to be a gift of life.”

She is expecting the process will take a year, and wants to do everything she can to speed it along.

“It’s not just about my dad, it’s everybody – why do people have to wait for so long?”

READ ALSO: Health care, housing and grants top B.C.’s 2024 Budget Day promises

Heather Johnson of the Kidney Foundation said Reddy has valid concerns. She said patients are better off when they have an advocate like her to help get them through the transplant process.

Some patients are forced to wait five years to get a new kidney, as the number of donors is limited, and there is a backlog in the health care system.

She said people die on dialysis, waiting for transplants.

“Dialysis keeps you alive, but you deteriorate.”

Finding a live donor is the best course of action, and Johnson said her organization advises people with failing kidneys to find their donor before they are forced to start dialysis.

She noted March is National Kidney Month in Canada, and April highlights organ donation as National Donate Life Month, so it’s a timely topic.

Everyone is born with two of the bean-shaped organs, but they can live happily with one kidney.

In order to be an organ donor, people must register online at the BC Transplant website, said Johnson.

Some people agree to be non-directed donors – where they give up their kidney to whoever needs it.

“This is the ultimate altruism,” she said. “That’s amazing – giving the gift of life.”

READ ALSO: B.C. to become 1st in Canada to give free prescription contraception by spring

Have a story tip? Email:
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Neil Corbett

About the Author: Neil Corbett

I have been a journalist for more than 30 years, the past decade with the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News.
Read more