Cop becomes ambassador

Roy McBeth of the Abbotsford Police Department is putting the spotlight on organ donations

ROY MCBETH

ROY MCBETH

Roy McBeth’s life was saved by a kidney transplant.

Now he plans to share his story before taking on the 2015 Valley First Challenge Penticton half relay with the person who gave him back a future — his  co-worker Kevin Wright.

“There are no words to express the amount of gratitude that I have. You can’t put a monetary value on it, but really to me it’s almost like someone who’s won the lottery and is turning to me and giving me the ticket,” McBeth said.

McBeth, 45, a detective with the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) will be cycling with the Donate Life team that includes Wright’s wife Elly. McBeth, who competed in Subaru Ironman Canada in 2010, will have a booth set up in the athletes’ village.

“The big message that we want to portray is they can make a difference. Encourage people to become organ donors,” said McBeth. “People can also consider being a living donor and still live a healthy lifestyle.

“You don’t have to be deceased to consider giving a kidney,” continued McBeth, who is an example of what that gift can do for someone.

In December of 2014, McBeth’s kidney was functioning at eight per cent, yet he still reported for duty and lived his life. Having seen family members struggle with kidney disease on dialysis he wanted to avoid that. He made the big decision to reach out to his co-workers to see if they would be interested in helping him. The eight responses he received overwhelmed him. Wright was the best match.

“It was pretty remarkable. The whole department is like an extended family,” said McBeth, who has worked at the APD for 12 years.

McBeth said he feels extremely fortunate to be where he is and hasn’t experienced any negative effects from the kidney since the surgery earlier this year.

With everything he has experienced, McBeth appreciates the little things and celebrates the big things. Since having the surgery,  the Prince George native has done bike races, road triathlons, off-road races and granfondos. After completing Challege Penticton,  McBeth will start training for an off-road triathlon in Maui.

According to the B.C. Transplant Society, nearly 500 British Columbians are on the wait list for an organ transplant. In 2015, there were 106 transplants via a deceased donor and 71 by a living donor. For more information about organ donation, check www.transplant.bc.ca.

-With files from the Abbotsford News.