On her way to dialysis three or four days a week, Shawnigan Lake’s Audrey Schroeder sometimes feels like changing direction and giving up.
“If I’m in a crowd of people, I can’t help but think, ‘I just need one of you to help and maybe save my life,’ ” said the single mother of three girls, ages 10, 16 and 17. “My kids need their mom. Being sick all the time, they can’t rely on me, and I feel terrible about it.”
Like 409 other people in B.C., Schroeder is waiting for a kidney transplant. Her wait could be up to 10 years — unless she finds someone to donate one of their kidneys to her. No one in her family is a match, so she’s expanding her search, inspired by a Victoria man who recently found a donor through social media.
“I don’t want to get my hopes up, but I have to try,” said Schroeder, 40.
“He found his angel, and I thought, ‘Why can’t this be me, too?’ ”
Schroeder had a donor lined up a few months ago, but the donor got pregnant and had to back out. It was a huge blow to her morale, she said, until a close friend stepped in to help with her campaign to find a kidney, despite her own battle with brain cancer.
She’s also buoyed by the thought of a normal life. Schroeder has battled kidney disease since she was 13.
“A friend who got a transplant a few years ago told me I’m going to be shocked by what it’s like to feel good,” she said.