Sunday, March 15, 2020
Home: Calgary Hitmen Away: Red Deer Rebels
555 Saddledome Rise SE
Calgary, Alberta T2G 2W1
Hockey Night in Canada has represented a Saturday institution in Canadian households. The third season of the WHL Suits Up To Promote Organ Donation Presented by RE/MAX will celebrate the longstanding history of Hockey Night in Canada in a brand-new way that will spark nostalgia in hockey fans far and wide. Fans will have a chance to get their hands on the limited-edition Hockey Night in Canada-themed WHL sweaters through local auction with their WHL Club.
All games feature puck droppers.
Here are their stories:
Tiny kidney kid needs a kidney
The day Markus Wilson was born, he and his parents, Byron and Joanne, began waging a fulltime battle with kidney disease. As a newborn Markus could only eat about two ounces of milk at a time because his diseased kidneys were taking up so much room in his tiny body. When he was two months old surgeons removed his first kidney, and when Markus was 10 months old his remaining kidney triggered a cardiac arrest, prompting doctors to remove it. “The instant the surgeons removed that kidney, Markus stabilized,” says his mom Joanne. “It was so large – 2.6 pounds – and was crushing his lungs.” A normal adult kidney is typically ¼ of a pound.
In his first four years of life Markus has endured 9 surgeries, including a failed transplant. Right now, as he waits for another kidney transplant, he does dialysis every night for 13 hours to clean toxins and fluids from his body – a necessity for someone living without kidneys. What’s most noticeable about the Wilson family? Not the scars, but their smiles. “We see humour as a way to treat everything,” says Joanne. “I have a cry, then I pick myself up and get on with it. We can’t let kidney disease destroy our lives. We want to always be there for Markus.”
And he is not the first in his family to be diagnosed with cystinosis – a rare genetic form of kidney disease that causes cystine crystals to build up in the kidneys, eyes, muscles and liver. His 22 year old brother Chandler received a kidney donation from their mom Andra three years ago. Chandler is now enjoying excellent health – he completed his schooling at SAIT, is able to work full time and have fun with his friends. “You always want your children to have the best life possible,” Andra says. “I always tell people, if you donate your kidney, you are affecting two lives – the person you donate to, and the person who is now able to move up higher on the list.” Several of these photos are credited to Jenn Pierce/Calgary Hitmen