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Category "Nanaimo"

23Jan

She tried to donate a kidney to save him, then they found cancer

by admin

Tracy took Richard Stuart to be her husband 22 years ago on New Year’s Day, in sickness and in health, until death do they part.

When the Nanaimo couple discovered Richard needed a kidney, Tracy was first in line to be the donor. Then doctors found the cancer.

The Stuarts met in Prince George in 1995 while working at a Sears store, where he was a loss-prevention manager and she led the sales department.

Last summer, a doctor told Richard, 57, who has Type 2 Diabetes, that his kidney function was dropping and he needed a transplant. Tracy, 55, was a good match and surgery was expected this month.

But during a battery of tests in recent months to determine that Tracy was healthy, doctors found an abnormality. An exam of her bone marrow revealed an incurable, multiple myeloma — cancer of the plasma cells.


Richard and Tracy in Prince George on their wedding day on Jan. 1, 1997.

“That was quite a blow,” she said. “They rushed us through the transplant meetings and everything. They were just fantastic. So everybody was absolutely shocked.”

Tracy said Richard was waiting for her at the hospital when she got the news.

“I go, ‘I’m sorry, baby, I can’t donate my kidney and I can’t save your life,’ ” she said. “He’s like, ‘It’s OK, babe, let’s worry about you right now.’ So I’m worrying about him and he’s worrying about me. We don’t really have a chance to worry about ourselves.”

Both are now on short-term disability as they struggle to find a donor and get treatment. Richard is one of about 530 people in B.C. currently waiting for a kidney transplant.

With his kidney function now at eight per cent, Richard needs dialysis three times a week — each requiring a four-hour hospital stay — while he waits for a new catheter to heal so he can start dialysis at home.

The couple has plenty of support, they said. Tracy has two sons from a previous marriage, aged 29 and 31, who have always been close with her and Richard. Her parents live down the street and Richard’s sister and brother-in-law live in town.

The couple’s friend, Debbie, started a GoFundMe campaign, which has raised $4,000 in just over two weeks, to help cover costs related to their health care.

Richard’s “work family” at London Drugs is throwing a $15 burger-and-beer fundraiser Feb. 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. at The Queen’s pub.

And they have each other.


Richard and Tracy walk on Long Beach in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on Vancouver Island.

Submitted: Tracy Stuart /

PNG

“Our marriage is so tight, it is so strong,” Tracy said. “All you can do is be there for each other. I know he’s got my back and he knows that I’m going to be there for him no matter what.”

Meantime, Tracy said she’ll need a stem-cell transplant along with chemotherapy. She hopes to be in remission soon so that she can return to managing at the local PetSmart in the spring.

“I hope that it’s 10 years before it comes back,” she said. “But what I know I would like to do, after all this is said and done, is give some of my time to supporting the kidney foundation and cancer (society). I want to give back, because we have seen upfront what they have done for us.”

Both Tracy and Richard are urging their fellow British Columbians to consider donating a kidney, and to contact [email protected] or [email protected] to find out how.

“We’ve got to deal with what we’ve got to deal with. It’s part of life,” Richard said. “All this, I would hope, brings awareness to kidney donations and that it’s one of the easiest organs to donate and save somebody else’s life.”

Richard has A-positive blood and can accept a kidney from someone with types A, AB or O.

In 2016, waiting times for a kidney donation from a deceased donor ranged from less than two years to up to five years, depending on blood type, said Heather Johnson, director of programs for The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s B.C. and Yukon branch.

Last year, there were 328 kidney transplants in B.C. by Dec. 14, including 98 from living donors, according to B.C. Transplant.

Johnson said her foundation has a mentorship program that connects trained, volunteer donors with potential donors who have questions about surgery, recovery and the emotional impact of the process.

Low-income recipients can stay and recover in one of the foundation’s seven “kidney suites” for free, while couples earning more than $2,000 per month can book the rooms for $35 a night.

The foundation also has a fund to help cover lost income, travel, accommodations and other expenses for donors, or potential donors, while they stay at St. Paul’s, Vancouver General or B.C. Children’s hospitals for the transplant.

Recipients typically recover in Vancouver for about two months and will need to stay on anti-rejection drugs for life, Johnson said. Donors often return to their normal routine within a few days.

“Donating a kidney, there’s no health concerns for people that do so,” she said. “You can live a perfectly healthy life.”

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23Jan

She tried to donate a kidney to save him, then they found cancer

by admin

Tracy took Richard Stuart to be her husband 22 years ago on New Year’s Day, in sickness and in health, until death do they part.

When the Nanaimo couple discovered Richard needed a kidney, Tracy was first in line to be the donor. Then doctors found the cancer.

The Stuarts met in Prince George in 1995 while working at a Sears store, where he was a loss-prevention manager and she led the sales department.

Last summer, a doctor told Richard, 57, who has Type 2 Diabetes, that his kidney function was dropping and he needed a transplant. Tracy, 55, was a good match and surgery was expected this month.

But during a battery of tests in recent months to determine that Tracy was healthy, doctors found an abnormality. An exam of her bone marrow revealed an incurable, multiple myeloma — cancer of the plasma cells.


Tracy Stuart underwent tests so she could donate a kidney to her husband Richard, but doctors discovered she has cancer. The Stuarts are supporting each other as they seek treatment and health, and friends have started a GoFundMe campaign to help cover some expenses related to their health care.

Submitted: Tracy Stuart /

PNG

“That was quite a blow,” she said. “They rushed us through the transplant meetings and everything. They were just fantastic. So everybody was absolutely shocked.”

Tracy said Richard was waiting for her at the hospital when she got the news.

“I go, ‘I’m sorry baby, I can’t donate my kidney and I can’t save your life,’ ” she said. “He’s like, ‘It’s OK babe, let’s worry about you right now.’ So I’m worrying about him and he’s worrying about me. We don’t really have a chance to worry about ourselves.”

Both are now on short-term disability as they struggle to find a donor and get treatment. Richard is one of about 530 people in B.C. currently waiting for a kidney transplant.

With his kidney function now at eight per cent, Richard needs dialysis three times a week — each requiring a four-hour hospital stay — while he waits for a new catheter to heal so he can start dialysis at home.

The couple has plenty of support, they said. Tracy has two sons from a previous marriage, aged 29 and 31, who have always been close with her and Richard. Her parents live down the street and Richard’s sister and brother-in-law live in town.

The couple’s friend, Debbie, started a GoFundMe campaign, which has raised $4,000 in just over two weeks, to help cover costs related to their health care.

Richard’s “work family” at London Drugs is throwing a $15 burger-and-beer fundraiser Feb. 20 from 6-9 p.m. at The Queen’s pub.

And they have each other.


Tracy Stuart underwent tests so she could donate a kidney to her husband Richard, but doctors discovered she has cancer. The Stuarts are supporting each other as they seek treatment and health, and friends have started a GoFundMe campaign to help cover some expenses related to their health care.

Submitted: Tracy Stuart /

PNG

“Our marriage is so tight, it is so strong,” Tracy said. “All you can do is be there for each other. I know he’s got my back and he knows that I’m going to be there for him no matter what.”

Meantime, Tracy said she’ll need a stem-cell transplant along with chemotherapy. She hopes to be in remission soon so that she can return to managing the local PetSmart in the spring.

“I hope that it’s 10 years before it comes back,” she said. “But what I know I would like to do, after all this is said and done, is give some of my time to supporting the kidney foundation and cancer (society). I want to give back, because we have seen upfront what they have done for us.”

Both Tracy and Richard are urging their fellow British Columbians to consider donating a kidney, and to contact [email protected] or [email protected] to find out how.

“We’ve got to deal with what we’ve got to deal with, it’s part of life,” Richard said. “All this, I would hope, brings awareness to kidney donations and that it’s one of the easiest organs to donate and save somebody else’s life.”

Richard has A-positive blood and can accept a kidney from someone with types A, AB or O.

In 2016, waiting times for a kidney donation from a deceased donor ranged from less than two years to up to five years, depending on blood type, said Heather Johnson, director of programs for The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s B.C. and Yukon branch.

Last year, there were 328 kidney transplants in B.C. by Dec. 14, including 98 from living donors, she said.

Johnson said the foundation has a mentorship program that connects trained, volunteer donors with potential donors who have questions about surgery, recovery and the emotional impact of the process.

Low-income recipients can stay and recover in one of the foundation’s seven “kidney suites” for free, while couples earning more than $2,000 per month can book the rooms for $35 a night.

The foundation also has a fund to help cover lost income, travel, accommodations and other expenses for donors, or potential donors, while they stay at St. Paul’s, Vancouver General or B.C. Children’s hospitals for the transplant.

Recipients typically recover in Vancouver for about two months and will need to stay on anti-rejection drugs for life, Johnson said. Donors often return to their normal routine within a few days.

“Donating a kidney, there’s no health concerns for people that do so,” she said. “You can live a perfectly healthy life.”

[email protected]

twitter.com/nickeagland

CLICK HERE to report a typo.

Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email [email protected].</p




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10Nov

Family of VIU student who died urge anyone struggling to reach out

by admin

Spencer Stone Shutes is being remembered by family as a bright and caring person.



Spencer Stone Shutes is being remembered by family as a bright and caring person.


FAMILY PHOTO / Times Colonist

The 21-year-old Vancouver Island University student who died after falling from the fifth and top floor of the school’s library on Monday is being remembered by family as a bright and caring person who was a whiz with computers.

Spencer Stone Shutes was studying computer science and had just completed the first year of his electrical apprenticeship at the Nanaimo university, said his 24-year-old brother, Brandon Stone.

“For 21 years, he was my best friend,” Stone said.

Shutes loved his family and his Russian blue cat, Simba.

Shutes’ nickname was “fact-man,” his brother said, because he retained an encyclopedic knowledge about so many topics.

Shutes devoured documentaries and loved watching the X Files and Top Gear. He graduated from Wellington Secondary School in Nanaimo in 2015 with top marks. Stone said any suggestion of skipping school was politely turned down by his younger brother.

Shutes, Stone and Stone’s girlfriend all worked for Shaw Cable.

“He was very good at that job and well-loved among his team,” Stone said.

Stone, a musician, sometimes played gigs at Longwood Brew Pub and one of his favourite photos of Shutes is from a night he watched the gig alongside their mother.

Shutes, wearing a button-up shirt and wire-frame glasses, is smiling and raising his glass. Stone said that’s how he’ll always remember his brother.

Shutes lived with his mother and supported her financially, as she is on permanent disability.

Stone has started a Go Fund Me donation page to help their mother financially. “He would have wanted her to be taken care of, that was always at the forefront of his mind,” Stone said.

Shutes was busy with work, school and looking after their mom, and there was no indication he was struggling, Stone said.

“I never thought that this would happen and having it happen first-hand shows me it’s so important for every person to know you do have people who care about you and you do have people who you can reach out to.

“If you’re feeling overwhelmed beyond belief and you feel like you have no options, just give yourself an hour, talk to someone on the phone. Because those moments can pass. Just seek out somebody before you do something that you can’t take back.”

The B.C. Coroners Service is investigating the death. No foul play is suspected.

Coroners Service spokesman Andy Watson could not confirm the cause of death, saying it’s early in the investigation. “We look to determine who died, when, where and by what means. We’re in the early stages of the investigation.”

A date has yet to be set for a funeral.

In a statement, Vancouver Island University thanked the school community “for coming together to support each other as we navigate through the impacts of the tragic loss that occurred on Monday.”

The school is providing counselling to anyone who witnessed the death or anyone who is struggling with the news.

Shutes’ family gave the university permission to identify him.

“Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family and friends and everyone who has been impacted,” the university said in a statement. “At times like this, it is important that we continue to come together with kindness and respect and provide support to each other, as we come to terms with what has happened. We are heartened that VIU and the broader community continues to support Spencer’s family and friends and each other in so many different and compassionate ways.”

kderosa@timescolonist.com

• The family’s donation page is at GoFundMe.com; search for Spencer Stone Shutes.

• Anyone who is struggling can access around-the-clock support through the Vancouver Island Crisis Line at 1-888-494-3888.


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10Nov

Family of VIU student who died urge anyone struggling to reach out

by admin

Spencer Stone Shutes is being remembered by family as a bright and caring person.



Spencer Stone Shutes is being remembered by family as a bright and caring person.


FAMILY PHOTO / Times Colonist

The 21-year-old Vancouver Island University student who died after falling from the fifth and top floor of the school’s library on Monday is being remembered by family as a bright and caring person who was a whiz with computers.

Spencer Stone Shutes was studying computer science and had just completed the first year of his electrical apprenticeship at the Nanaimo university, said his 24-year-old brother, Brandon Stone.

“For 21 years, he was my best friend,” Stone said.

Shutes loved his family and his Russian blue cat, Simba.

Shutes’ nickname was “fact-man,” his brother said, because he retained an encyclopedic knowledge about so many topics.

Shutes devoured documentaries and loved watching the X Files and Top Gear. He graduated from Wellington Secondary School in Nanaimo in 2015 with top marks. Stone said any suggestion of skipping school was politely turned down by his younger brother.

Shutes, Stone and Stone’s girlfriend all worked for Shaw Cable.

“He was very good at that job and well-loved among his team,” Stone said.

Stone, a musician, sometimes played gigs at Longwood Brew Pub and one of his favourite photos of Shutes is from a night he watched the gig alongside their mother.

Shutes, wearing a button-up shirt and wire-frame glasses, is smiling and raising his glass. Stone said that’s how he’ll always remember his brother.

Shutes lived with his mother and supported her financially, as she is on permanent disability.

Stone has started a Go Fund Me donation page to help their mother financially. “He would have wanted her to be taken care of, that was always at the forefront of his mind,” Stone said.

Shutes was busy with work, school and looking after their mom, and there was no indication he was struggling, Stone said.

“I never thought that this would happen and having it happen first-hand shows me it’s so important for every person to know you do have people who care about you and you do have people who you can reach out to.

“If you’re feeling overwhelmed beyond belief and you feel like you have no options, just give yourself an hour, talk to someone on the phone. Because those moments can pass. Just seek out somebody before you do something that you can’t take back.”

The B.C. Coroners Service is investigating the death. No foul play is suspected.

Coroners Service spokesman Andy Watson could not confirm the cause of death, saying it’s early in the investigation. “We look to determine who died, when, where and by what means. We’re in the early stages of the investigation.”

A date has yet to be set for a funeral.

In a statement, Vancouver Island University thanked the school community “for coming together to support each other as we navigate through the impacts of the tragic loss that occurred on Monday.”

The school is providing counselling to anyone who witnessed the death or anyone who is struggling with the news.

Shutes’ family gave the university permission to identify him.

“Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family and friends and everyone who has been impacted,” the university said in a statement. “At times like this, it is important that we continue to come together with kindness and respect and provide support to each other, as we come to terms with what has happened. We are heartened that VIU and the broader community continues to support Spencer’s family and friends and each other in so many different and compassionate ways.”

kderosa@timescolonist.com

• The family’s donation page is at GoFundMe.com; search for Spencer Stone Shutes.

• Anyone who is struggling can access around-the-clock support through the Vancouver Island Crisis Line at 1-888-494-3888.


Source link

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