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‘The Gift’

Toronto, March 26, 2019

By Ana Gajic

Margot (left) and Nancy Glatt
Margot (left) and Nancy Glatt

Margot Glatt, a kidney donor at St. Michael’s Hospital, felt inspired to share her own organ donation story for the 50-year anniversary of kidney transplant at St. Michael’s.

Through the National Kidney Paired Donation Program, a program that assists individuals who are not able to directly donate, Margot donated her kidney to a stranger. In turn her sister Nancy, who received care at the Ottawa Riverside Hospital’s nephrology department, received a kidney from another stranger.

This is Margot’s story in her own words:

“I am a new donor as of November 2018, but my story actually began 45 years ago.

In 1973, I received a beautiful gift for my sweet 16 from my aunt, Esther, in New York. She gave me an elegant and simple necklace with a kidney bean shaped, silver pendant from Tiffany’s. I wore my new necklace for special occasions for a number of years and then I let it be for a while.

About twenty years ago, I rediscovered it and have worn it nearly every day since. Anyone who knows me knows I wear that piece all the time. I always refer to it as my kidney bean necklace.

In 2000, my sister learned she had a genetic condition called polycystic kidney disease (PCKD). Over the past few years, the kidney disease advanced quite rapidly. She needed a new kidney and I was not an exact blood type match for her. However, with the help of the National Kidney Paired Donation Program, including the Living Donor Program at St. Michael’s Hospital, we were able to change her future. And as any of you who have donated know, it not only impacts the recipient, it is a life changing experience for the donor.

I was speaking with my wonderful aunt Esther not too long after surgery. We got onto the subject of fate and talked about how much of our path in life seems predetermined and that our roles are to make the most of whatever lies ahead.

At that point in our discussion, I reminded her of the special gift she gave me 45 years earlier. We found it particularly interesting how this silver kidney bean ended up playing a rather big part in my life. Now when I wear the necklace, it has taken on a whole new meaning.

On the jewelry store’s website, it says the bean is “a symbol of life’s beginning” and with the help of the Living Donor Program at St. Michael’s, my sister now has her new beginning.”

Margot and Nancy’s story is the third in a series of patients we're profiling to celebrate our Kidney Transplant Program's 50th anniversary. It's called a called #MyTXanniversary, and we want to encourage more people to register as organ donors and highlight its patients and staff by sharing stories of their own transplant anniversaries.

Sign up to be a donor, or check your registration status online today at our donor drive.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 29 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the Hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael’s Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.

About Unity Health Toronto

Unity Health Toronto, comprised of Providence Healthcare, St. Joseph’s Health Centre and St. Michael’s Hospital, works to advance the health of everyone in our urban communities and beyond. Our health network serves patients, residents and clients across the full spectrum of care, spanning primary care, secondary community care, tertiary and quaternary care services to post-acute through rehabilitation, palliative care and long-term care, while investing in world-class research and education. For more information, visit www.unityhealth.to.


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