It’s not on your driver’s license! Register to become an organ donor.




In the early morning hours of the winter solstice, December 21, 2021, my life and health changed forever. I was given the gift of life: I received a liver transplant.

My health journey had spanned many years and two previous liver surgeries. In 2001, I fell off my mountain bike and landed on my right side. After the fall, there was blood in my urine, so I was sent for a CT scan. It revealed multiple cysts of various sizes in my kidneys, and a few cysts on my liver.

I was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PCKD), a genetic disease. “Poly” means much or many; “cystic” means having cysts (fluid-filled sacs). Generally, people with PCKD don’t have liver involvement. Unluckily, I did.

Some background information about me. I have an amazing, supportive partner, a spunky seven-year-old, a dog, a cat, and seven chickens. After moving to Cumberland in 2008, I found work as an operating room nurse and was an extremely active person. I loved skiing, mountain biking, hiking… all the fun stuff this valley has to offer.

Prior to my diagnosis, I hadn’t had any health issues. As time went on, the cysts on my liver caused it to grow, filling my entire abdominal cavity. It was extremely uncomfortable and had a direct and dramatic impact on my life and my health. I had to leave my job as a nurse. I was unable to take part in the activities I loved and had difficulty playing with my daughter.

I had two surgeries to drain some of the cysts and debulk my liver (reduce its size). After the second surgery, I was informed that I would need a liver transplant to cure my polycystic liver disease.

The wait began.

I couldn’t go anywhere without my cellphone, in case I got “the call.” Everywhere I went, I mentally planned out what I would do if I suddenly had to go to Vancouver for a transplant. It was a very difficult time for me—my physical, emotional, and mental health deteriorated.

I was waiting for someone with a compatible blood type to die. The thought weighed heavily on my mind.

My first experience with organ transplants was in 1990 when my father had a kidney transplant. I was a teenager and, unfortunately, wasn’t given much opportunity to learn more about what was happening. In nursing school, I learned about organ donation and transplants, and later, while working as an OR nurse, participated in an organ retrieval surgery. It was the most touching and trying surgery I was ever a part of. To think about how many lives were going to be saved and changed by this one individual’s organs made me cry. At the time, I didn’t imagine I would ever need a transplant.

The majority of the population will never need an organ transplant. However, as of October 3, there are 545 people waiting for one in British Columbia. If you died today, could your death help someone on this list? That is, are you registered as an organ donor?

When I ask people this question, I get various answers, but the most common one is “Yes, it’s on my driver’s license.”

This answer is incorrect! You must officially register your decision regarding organ donation with BC Transplant. All you need is your name and CareCard number, and it only takes a couple minutes. The website provides all the necessary information for you to make an informed decision.

Organ donation only happens after all life-saving measures have been attempted. If an individual will not survive their injuries and has not officially registered as an organ donor, but has viable organs for transplant, their family must decide for them. This is why it’s so important to talk with our loved ones about their wishes.

We never want to think about a family member or friend dying, and these can be difficult discussions. But having them in advance can relieve a family of the burden of having to make such decisions at a time of crisis and loss.

And one organ donor can save up to eight lives.

In 2021, there were 529 organ transplants performed—a new record for the province. There are currently 1.57 million British Columbians officially registered for organ donation. That is only 30 per cent of the total population. We can do much better.

I waited 18 long months for my liver transplant. I’m close to the one-year anniversary of the surgery, and am doing very well. I would not have made it this far without the support of many friends and family, and from this amazing community. My family and I are so thankful.

Due to privacy regulations around the transplant process, I will never know who my donor was, but I am forever grateful for their gift of life.

Register your decision today as an organ donor at for your sake, your family’s sake, and for the 545 people still waiting for a transplant in British Columbia.