Life of a Donor – a Plea for a Kidney for Curtis

“This is a plea for a kidney for Curtis, through the lens of the donor.”

A six part video series (featured below) was produced by Former Surrey City Councillor and retired Surrey Firefighter, Mike Starchuk for his friend Curtis Meyer, who desperately needs a new kidney. Starchuk himself was last among 13 who stepped up to be a donor, but all were ruled out.

Due to his compromised health, Curtis, an aircraft mechanic by trade, can no longer work for fear of being exposed to COVID-19. The pandemic further restricts his ability to search for a donor. Thus, Curtis and his loved ones are reaching out for help.

I had a kidney transplant 9 ½ years ago and unfortunately, last November, that kidney began to fail and I had to go on dialysis. I was so lucky to have numerous people call St. Paul’s to begin the process of donating their kidney but were declined due to their own health issues. One of our friends, Mike Starchuk, former City of Surrey Councilor, made it to the very last test, but unfortunately, due to a minor health issue, the surgeon at St. Paul’s recommended removal from the kidney donor program.

My doctors have advised me to try to find someone who may be willing to donate a kidney to me. While dialysis is helping, a transplant is the best medical treatment, and without a live donor, the deceased donor kidney wait list is years. Kidney failure causes a loss of energy, physical and mental fatigue and pain in my lower extremities. My food choices are limited, I’m not able to drink a lot of fluids, I have to give myself insulin and hemoglobin injections, I’m unable to lift anything over 15 lbs., I am on numerous pills daily and often don’t feel well enough to socialize with family and friends and do the activities I enjoy. A successful kidney transplant will improve and relieve many of my symptoms and eventually allow me to return to a normal way of life again.

Donors can live a normal, healthy life with just one kidney and they are carefully screened to make sure it is safe for them to donate. The transplant team makes the donor’s health and well-being a priority. If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact (my wife) Shelley as she was my donor 9 ½ years ago. You don’t even have to be a blood match in order to donate, as you could go on the paired donor list which is when a “swap” occurs when a living kidney donor is incompatible for me but therefore exchange their kidney with another donor/recipient pair and so two lives are saved. The exchange could be between 5-6 recipients so it opens up the possibilities for live donation.

I understand this is an extremely personal decision and there is a lot to think about. If anyone would like information and explore kidney donation further, feel free to contact the donor nurse coordinator at St. Paul’s Hospital at 604-806-9027 or 1-877-922-9822. You can also email at Please know exploring donation does not commit you in any way and you can make a choice to back away from the process at any point.

With Sincere Gratitude,

Curtis Meyer

Starchuk’s series, filmed over Zoom, provides “bite-sized” nuggets of information about the organ donation process. “Our hope, during this devastating COVID-19 pandemic, is that people will take some of their ‘down time’ and look at how they can make a difference” says Starchuck.

Questions regarding why I should donate, what happens to me, how long it takes, and other pertinent questions are answered, from the donor’s point of view.

Help us to help Curtis, or someone else, get their life back.

Click on the green ribbon below for more information on how to register to be an Organ Donor in BC.






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