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Golf tourney helps families facing organ transplants

Lorraine Graves   May-16-2017

Najib Elmi, with his twin nine-year-old brothers, and his father.

Photo by Chung Chow


The Children’s Organ Transplant Society invites all to golf for a good cause this Thursday, May 18 at their fundraiser at Quilchena Golf and Country Club.

All funds raised through the tournament go to help families facing pediatric organ transplant.

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When your child needs an organ transplant, the shock reverberates around the family. The transplant society offers a chance to be with other parents who know first-hand the journey from first hearing the news to transplant and recovery.

The society also offers support for siblings, the people often forgotten while parents worry and rush to the hospital with their sick child. Lastly, though anti-rejection meds are covered by MSP, the society offers financial support for families needing help with much-needed drugs, supplies and equipment not paid by MSP.

Faysal Elmi knows firsthand the challenges families face.

“My son started out being a little bit different. He was born at Burnaby Hospital but transferred to (BC Women’s and) Children’s (Hospital) where the doctor at the time said one out of every 10,000 boys will get this bad luck and unfortunately this time, it’s your son. For the first four years we spent a lot of time at the hospital.”

As a newborn, Najib couldn’t urinate because of a blockage. Before the cause was discovered, the urine back-up damaged both his kidneys. When he was a year old, one shut down and had to be removed then, after six or seven years, the other kidney started failing.

He needed a transplant. Faysal was a good match for his son so, four years ago, he donated one of his kidneys to seven year-old Najib.

Faysal speaks highly of all the care his son received.

“COTS provided us with lots of stuff,” he said, such as supplies that they needed but weren’t covered by MSP. He also speaks highly of the Canadian medical system and BC Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

To continue the society’s good work, people are encouraged to support COTS Children’s Charity Classic Golf Tournament at the Quilchena Golf and Country Club, Thursday, May 18.

It promises to be an entire day of fun with a good purpose, with an 11 a.m. registration, 1:30 p.m. shot gun start, and a buffet dinner at 6 p.m.

With your registration fee comes your green fees, a barbeque lunch, a motorized golf cart, and the buffet dinner.

Online registration closes at 4 p.m., Wednesday May 17.

For information or to register go to tinyurl.com/QuilchenaTransplant

And how is Najib doing now that he’s had his transplant? His proud father, Faysal says: “He’ll be 12 in September. He’s doing really, really well.”

After all they’ve been through as a family, he adds: “One thing I learned over the years, I met so many people’s families; when I hear their stories, some of the things other people go through, we have nothing to complain about.”


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