Chances are if you went to elementary school in Penticton or hang around the baseball fields, you know who Terry Lindsay is.
What you might not know about the retired teacher and longtime slo pitch umpire by looking at him is he is in need of a kidney.
“It’s a silent killer because you don’t see it on the outside, and I get that everyday: ‘You look so healthy and look so good,’” said Lindsay, who has been waiting to find a living donor that will be his match. “The fact is on the inside I don’t feel good.”
Lindsay lost a kidney as a side effect from a drug he was taking during chemotherapy for testicular cancer. It was years later, after a hot long weekend of umpiring slo pitch nationals on the coast, that he developed a small boil on his waistline from his umpire bag rubbing against him. He was given antibiotics and had a violent reaction that reduced the kidney he had left to dangerous functioning levels. Even with the negative string of events that took place in his life, Lindsay doesn’t quite view it that way.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” he said. “I have had one hell of a journey. I cannot say the negative medical issues in my life have been bad, I have learned something from each of them and become a stronger person because of them.”
It is with that kind of outlook he has touched so many. Lindsay is appreciative for support people show through kidney fundraisers and a tournament a group of Penticton slo pitch players threw specifically in honour of him last fall.
“It was very humbling,” he said. “When I am standing on the ball field and a player comes over that I may have taught in school and gives you a hug for what you did for them, I know I made the right choices in life.”
The Penticton man is blood type O, which makes it difficult to find a match. He was told it would take seven to 10 years to get a donor, and by then he may not be as physically fit as he is now, hence the need for a living donor.
Sitting in the Kinsmen Building on Hastings Avenue preparing for a giant yard sale in support of the Kidney Foundation, Lindsay and two others who have kidney issues swap squeamish stories of dialysis and operations.
“The thing with the kidney foundation is if there was no research none of us would be here today. That is a fact,” said Annick Lim, who was the benefactor of a kidney donated to her by her father 14 years ago.
It is the reason why those locally involved with the Kidney Foundation are so passionate about holding events to fundraise. This weekend they will be hosting a garage sale and on Sept. 22 they hold their annual Kidney Walk. The proceeds are split, with 50 per cent going towards the research that Lim talked about, and 50 per cent going towards patient service support in B.C., including prevention.
“Research is the ultimate patient service really,” agreed Teresa Atkinson, volunteer representative.
Without the research the call Lindsay is waiting to hear for a living donor would have been non-existent. There is a greater percentage of living donors in Canada then deceased, thanks to scientific advances. Point in case was earlier this year when Penticton woman Kellie Wesley donated her kidney to her friend Terry Craig.
The Kidney Foundation garage sale goes Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kinsmen House at 216 Hastings Ave. They are asking for people to drop-off donated items from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday or organizers will also pick up (no mattresses or large furniture). A bin will also be on site for people to drop off unwanted metals that will then be recycled. A pancake breakfast and barbecue will also take place, with proceeds going to the PKDRC Society for building maintenance. To learn more about how to become a kidney donor visit www.kidney.ca.