By Patrice Thomas-Crate
My name is Patrice Thomas-Crate. I was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta all of my life. I do not believe in coincidences. I believe that if we pay attention to everything around us we will and realize that our life truly has a purpose.
I was born 42 years ago to parents Len and Marilyn. I am the first-born of 4 children. I have my memories of Edmonton from school to sports to entertainment. Living your whole life in one city shows you the diversity of opportunities available to you and most importantly the resources available.
If I were not in Edmonton today I may not have the opportunity I have to help give the gift of life to my father who will die without a kidney transplant. A lot of people are not aware of the amazing medical staff of doctors, nurses, surgeons and researchers along with the many people who daily commit to hard work to make a difference to help another person who is facing their own mortality. Edmonton leads the world in life-saving medical technology.
We are so blessed to live in a country and a city that provides this opportunity. My father became seriously ill last October—2008. He had chronic heart and kidney failure. Immediately he was hospitalized and he received a pacemaker to keep his heart pumping and beating. My father has no kidneys. He has to receive dialysis 5 times day to remove all the toxins from his body or he will die.
Before my father’s illness I never understood organ donation. I went with my father to the University of Alberta Hospital for a workshop on organ donation. There were hundreds of people there who needed a transplant just like my father. I learned that day that many of them will die waiting on the list for a transplant match. This means that they need someone to donate their organs to save their life. I did not realize that you could become a living donor. That means that you can give an organ like a kidney and live a normal healthy life. We only need one kidney to live. We can even give part of our liver to someone and our liver will regenerate and grow back to its normal size. Honestly, how amazing is that.
All we have to do is make a call to living organ donation and if it is meant to be and if you are a match to another, you can give them the gift of life. This may sound scary to some but I tell you will truth from my heart I believe that this is a miracle to be able to do this for another. If I had been born to other parents raised in another country and city and did not have the opportunity to learn about chronic heart and kidney disease, I would have never learned about organ donation. And If I did not live In Edmonton, Alberta, all of my life I would not be telling of how wonderful It is to tale part in the many miracles that take place here.
Again, I do not believe in coincidences. I believe that I was given this opportunity to tell my Edmonton experience because today and every day I live. Thank you for the opportunity to share my Edmonton experience. My story is only one of the many miracles that take place in this great city. My father and I will be having the transplant operation soon, and my father will be able to live his life again without being attached to a machine to live.