Calgary News | Local Breaking | CTV News Calgary
Award-winning U of C scientist’s studies halted while he awaits kidney transplant
Friends of Sarjoon Abdul-Cader have erected signs around the University of Calgary and throughout Calgary in the hopes of securing a kidney for the ailing father, husband, and PhD student.
“He came to Canada to do his masters at University of Calgary,” explained Mohan Balachandran, a friend of Abdul-Cader’s. “Did his masters, got a scholarship for PhD on virology. He has won three awards - international awards - one of them is ‘Investigative Scientist of the Year in 2017’, that’s competing with 100 universities globally, so he’s a brilliant guy.”
Abdul-Cader’s studies have been halted after his kidneys failed and he was placed on dialysis for sessions lasting approximately 10 hours a day in his home.
“Now my time is gone,” Abdul-Cader told CTV. “Now I’m in a position not to work, not to commit to any activities with my family, with work. Continuously on dialysis now so my whole life is stuck.”
“Right now, his entire life has come to a standstill,” said Balachandran. “His PhD is now a question mark. Because of his condition, he can’t continue the examinations. He can’t continue the laboratory work.”
The wait for a kidney could take upwards of a decade. “Ten years? I cannot even imagine how my life is going to be,” said Abdul-Cader, father to a 10-year-old daughter and five-year-old son.
Nearly 100 signs have been placed in-and-around Calgary, with some of the boards appearing in Langdon and Edmonton, appealing for potential donors to come forward.
“I’m doing it for my friend and for anyone who needs help,” said Balachandran of his contributions to the donor effort. “Kidney failure is something affecting a lot of people but not many people speak about it. It’s like a silent killer.”
Balachandran is trying to bring awareness to the fact organ donations from living donors could greatly reduce wait times while also dispelling myths regarding potential detriments to the donor.
“The wait time is ten years if you’re waiting for a deceased donor but a living donor is an amazing thing,” added Balachandran. “People need to know that one kidney is more than enough to live a very normal life.”
Balachandran says there have been approximately 150 phone calls to date from potential donors or people calling to express their support for the effort but the search for a kidney continues. For additional information regarding the initiative call 587-664-HELP. Contact the Kidney Foundation of Canada – Southern Alberta for information on organ donation.
With files from CTV’s Alesia Fieldberg