Kim Clouthier breathing easier with lung transplantWednesday, September 12, 2012 by: Jordan Allard
Nicole Clouthier has figured out how to become a hero.
It doesn't require superpowers or a red cape, apparently all it takes is a giving spirit and couple clicks of a mouse.
"Making the choice to become an organ donor can save so many lives," said Clouthier.
"Anybody who makes that decision is truly heroic."
Nicole's sister-in-law Kim Clouthier has been on a list seeking heroic intervention since February.
Kim was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis over a year ago and has been waiting in Toronto for a lung transplant.
Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease with an unknown cause that scars and stiffens the lungs of an affected person.
Described by her sister-in-law as a healthy, happy-go-lucky person, pulmonary fibrosis was the first major medical illness of Kim's life.
"Everyone who meets her is drawn to Kim," said Clouthier. "She has one of those personalities that engages your attention easily."
Unfortunately for Kim the first serious illness of her life threatened to end it, but her luck changed earlier this month when she underwent a successful lung transplant after receiving a pair of lungs from a donor in Windsor.
While she's breathing on her own again, Kim is far from out-of-the woods and the 42-year-old mother of two needs to remain in Toronto for at least three months of rehabilitation.
Relocating to Southern Ontario isn’t cheap and Kim has doled out upwards of $2,000 per month for rent and hospital parking.
"It still hasn't been determined how long she has to stay in Toronto," said Clouthier. "Right now any extra money would be a huge help."
Clouthier is planning a fundraiser for her sister-in-law to be held at a yet-to-be-determined date and location in October.
For more details, people are encouraged to contact Clouthier at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Clouthier has been overwhelmed by the showing of support from the Sault community so far.
Since setting up page on beadonor.ca she has registered over 140 people.
"Until it happens to somebody you know, it doesn't really come to mind," she said.
Clouthier reminds people even though they may have signed up as a donor in the past, in many cases that might not be valid with the new licenses and health cards.
"It only takes a few moments to make sure you're donor by visiting the homepage,” she said.
This fall, Clouthier will be addressing city council about organ donation and will request www.beadonor.ca to be added to the city's homepage.
"Organ donation is such an important cause," said Clouthier. "As a community if we all donate a little time we can help save so many lives."