STELLARTON - Doreen Jordan has given the gift of life to her daughter Chantel Martin more than once.
Twenty years ago, Martin was doing dialysis at home four times a day in order to keep her kidneys functioning. She has had type one diabetes since she was three years old and it had taken its toll on these organs.
At the age of 51, Jordan saw her 22-year-old daughter was in need of a better life and agreed to give her one of her kidneys. Other members of the family were tested as well and Jordan came back as the best match.
A few months later, both were in side-by-side operating rooms in a Halifax hospital where one kidney was removed from Jordan and placed in Martin.
“I felt better the third day, instantly,” Martin said, but her mother’s recover was bit longer. She had a larger incision and took about three months to heal from the surgery.”
But despite this, Jordan said she wouldn’t hesitate to do it all over again. Not only has the way the surgery is done improved over the years, but she knows that without it, her daughter would not be enjoying the life she has today.
“I was a little leery about what was going to happen to me after, but I would do it all over again,” said Jordan. “There are so many people that need it.”
Following their recovery, the women returned back to living their lives. Jordan recently retired from working in the kitchen of the Aberdeen Hospital while Martin continues to manage the Walk-in Clinic in New Glasgow.
She said working at the clinic is rewarding because brightening someone’s day who isn’t feeling well is an important part of the job.
“I am lucky in the fact that I don’t relax a lot,” said Martin. “It’s not always the best, but it works to my advantage.”
The women wanted to do something special for their 20th anniversary and draw awareness to the need for organ transplants.
“I said we should do something special, but what do you do for someone that gives you a kidney?” Martin asked. “We are going to have a dance because that is what she (Jordan) loves to do and we can have enough room for everyone.”
It will take place Saturday, April 7 from 8 p.m. to midnight at the Royal Canadian Legion in Stellarton. The women will also be hosting a 50/50 with proceeds going to a Canadian organ transport organization.
“You don’t have to become an organ donor today but research it and see what you can do,” said Martin.
To which Jordan added, “I think as parents it’s automatic. You don’t hesitate.”