Saskatoon woman hopes the message she sees on the car will help her find a kidney donor.

Every week you can find Debbie Onishenko sitting at her kitchen table checking local travelers for the best deals on groceries. But what she needs the most right now are her kidneys.

“It was slow processing at first,” Onishenko said. “You do everything you can to be as healthy as possible, but now it’s getting progressively worse and I only have nine percent of my kidneys left.”

Onishenko has been living with type 1 diabetes since the age of 13. He had kidney disease 20 years ago because of this.

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It is also considered the leading cause of disease according to the Kidney Association of Canada. Onishenko is one of 60 people in Saskatchewan needing a transplant.

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But it is not just the problem of the province. This is a problem of the whole country. One in 10 Canadians suffers from kidney disease

“There is a waiting list of many years for kidney transplants,” said Joyce Van Durgen, executive director of the Canadian Saskatchewan branch of the Kidney Association. “It’s really a health crisis because the people on that list, usually their health is deteriorating.”

The province expects the total number of people in need to come down. This year he was able to perform five thousand more surgeries as compared to 2021.

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But van Dürzen said the need for kidney donation exceeds the number of kidneys available and that many people on the list become so ill that they are removed because they are no longer eligible.

This prompted Onishenko to make a messaged decal on his car, in the hope that someone might possibly come forward that is a match.

“It’s really hard to talk to people about asking for kidney donations,” Onishenko said. “But that way you can have your say and let people make their own decisions.”

Onishenko hopes that by sharing her story it will help better educate people about the need and importance of organ donation.

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She hasn’t started the dialysis process yet, but said the time to do so is near.

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan woman's kidney surgery delayed due to COVID-19'

Saskatchewan woman’s kidney surgery delayed due to COVID-19

Saskatchewan woman’s kidney surgery delayed due to COVID-19 – September 29, 2021

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