Kelsey Jordan has a lot to live for, with her one-year wedding anniversary to her British husband coming up this Thanksgiving weekend.
Jordan, a Steveston woman who won a 2002 Courage to Come Back Award, has overcome staggering health challenges to lead a happy life as a childcare worker in London, England, where her husband is enrolled in teacher training.
Unfortunately, there's another anniversary coming up, and that is the ominous deadline she was given last January of a year to 18 months before the failure of the donated kidney she received 22 years ago, at the age of four.
Now Kelsey, 26, urgently needs a new kidney transplant and it must be done in London where she lives.
"We found out two days before the wedding that my blood work showed something wrong, but we had a wedding and a honeymoon to go to," said Kelsey, who also loves acting and singing and has written a play.
"It's been a bumpy year, with a few bouts in the hospital, and I've stabilized, but I need a new kidney to keep living the normal life I want."
Kelsey's mother, Barb Kilburn, is organizing "A Kidney for Kelsey" benefit on Nov. 4 that she hopes will cover $10,000 in estimated costs of donor expenses and family support for Kelsey.
Her father and brother have been ruled out as donors and mom Barb Kilburn is a breast cancer survivor. But Kelsey has a relative and a friend now going through donor testing.
The family needs money to cover donor costs and her parents' expenses as they nurse her to health.
The splashy "silent auction and musical champagne reception benefit" for Kelsey will be held at the University of B.C. boathouse at 7277 River Rd. in Richmond. Tickets cost $40, and are available at Richmond's Splash Toys, at 604-241-0234.
"This past July was Kelsey's 22nd anniversary of her kidney transplant and we were devastated to think it might be her last," said Barb.
"We are reaching out to friends and family and the community to come to the gala, to step forward to be tested and to make donations."
Kelsey was born with a collapsed lung, high blood pressure, a heart murmur and endstage kidney disease.
Donations can be made at TD Canada Trust Account 7888-6556484, transit No. 02750.