A connection at Ringette Rink inspires an Alberta teen to the gift of life Globalnews.ca

There̵7;s just something about small towns and their sports. Ice rinks are often the heart of a community.

This is where friendship is found and a special bond between two strathmoreAlta., families became a life-saving affair.

Ringette Rink in downtown Strathmore. Katelyn Cumming and Emmarsyn Briggs practice on the ice.

Jill Croteau / Global News

was born with thirteen-year-old cal cumming Kidney failure.

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Kel Cumming and his mother, Shelley Reed, in their bedroom with their dialysis machine.

Jill Croteau / Global News

“Some days I can be really, really sick — nauseated with bad headaches and stuff — and that’s often without kidney damage,” Cumming said.

In March 2022, doctors decided to remove his kidney as he was susceptible to frequent infections. He spends most of his days on dialysis and is in need of a kidney transplant.

“I was worried and thinking, how long do I have to wait? Who will give me the kidney?” Cumming said.

It turns out that one of the women managing the Ringette team, Cumming’s older sister Caitlin, was up to the challenge. Carmen Briggs gets tested and finds out she is a match.

Carmen Briggs.

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“I thought, why not see if I can help her more? We are all made for great things in this world – what is she for?” Briggs said.

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“It’s a wonderful feeling that someone is giving me an organ,” Cumming said.

“When your child is hurt or in pain, you are helpless to do anything. You are at the mercy of medicine,” Briggs said.

The teen’s mother, Shelley Reid, said she was grateful beyond words for Briggs’ step forward.

Shelley Reed and Carmen Briggs.

Jill Croteau / Global News

“I wasn’t surprised at all when I found out that Carmen was doing this,” Reid said. “It’s in his character. He’s very selfless.

“There aren’t a lot of words, because there’s a lot of emotion behind those words,” Reid said.

“I think seeing Kel after surgery will be everyone’s reward. What better way to thank Carmen than that?”

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“There’s no need for thanks.”

“Thank you being able to go swimming and ride your bike and hanging out with your friends and eating bad foods and just being able to live the full life you want. That’s all I have to say thank you,” Briggs said. needed.

Read Cummings/Family photo.

Jill Croteau / Global News

“When I had my kidneys, one of them wasn’t working 100 percent and the other wasn’t working at all, so it would be nice to finally feel good,” Cumming said.

The date of transplant surgery is February 7.

“It is a life-saving surgery. His disease is life-limiting. But we hope he will be able to carry this kidney with him for 30 years.”

“I hope that in my soul it will be fine forever,” Briggs said.

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