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Kidney donation highlights cease-knit nature of Canada’s curling community

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Kidney donation highlights cease-knit nature of Canada’s curling community

Charles Gagnon and Adam Freilich had been opponents on the ice — but this previous week they became lifelong teammates. Freilich has been battling Stage 5 kidney failure, desperately in search of a donor. This previous Would possibly also simply, his crew took to social media placing a name out for anybody who will most seemingly be a match and ready donate a kidney. Gagnon answered that probability. 

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Charles Gagnon, confirmed at left, donated a kidney to fellow curler Adam Freilich, confirmed at honest appropriate. (Photograph submitted)

There is an never-ending quantity of studies and anecdotes regarding the curling community in Canada and how — in lots of programs — it will most seemingly be thought of as one mountainous household.

Most likely the story of curlers Adam Freilich and Charles Gagnon finest exemplifies this.

Frielich, 28, is the third for Team Comeau out of Contemporary Brunswick. Gagnon, 49, is the lead for Team Lawton out of Quebec.

For years, the 2 had been opponents on the ice — but this previous week they became lifelong teammates.

Freilich has been battling Stage 5 kidney failure for the the rest couple of years, desperately in search of a donor. This previous Would possibly also simply, his crew took to social media placing out the name for anybody who will most seemingly be a match and ready to donate a kidney. 

Gagnon answered that probability.

WATCH | Roller donates life-saving kidney to opponent:

The good selfless act: Roller Charles Gagnon donates lifesaving kidney to opponent Adam Freilich

The two curlers on the total compete in opposition to every diversified in native bonspiels, but when Adam Freilich went into Stage 5 kidney failure practically two years prior to now, Charles Gagnon answered the name. 9: 37

On Tuesday, Freilich and Gagnon underwent a hit kidney transplant surgical treatment.

“It appears like a miracle,” Freilich talked about from his health center mattress on CBC Sports activities’ That Curling Show off on Friday.

“I am feeling colossal. It has been about a days and the medical doctors are all delighted with how things are going.”

Gagnon, already house and recuperating, used to be moreover a guest on the level to and used to be beaming as he listened to Freilich.

“Adam has talked about thanks 1,000,000 cases and I originate no longer know the contrivance to respond to that because of this of all I can recount is or no longer it is some distance the coolest ingredient to have. It honest appropriate felt just like the coolest ingredient to have,” Gagnon talked about.

Frielich says when Gagnon on the starting up reached out he used to be in disbelief that this is able to truly happen.

“I didn’t pretty accept as true with him. I thought it used to be some unwell prank on the starting up because of this of or no longer it is been practically two years of pals and household getting examined and coming so cease with nothing realizing,” Frielich talked about.

He says in March 2020 he first began noticing indicators — itchy skin, fatigue, muscle cramps were plaguing him. Frielich says he thought it used to be allergies. It became out to be Stage 5 kidney failure.

‘A quiet illness’

“For kidney illnesses, or no longer it is about one in 10 folks that suffer from it in Canada. So it does have an effect on loads of of us,” Freilich talked about.

“It is truly a quiet illness. Folks only commence getting indicators once they’re beneath 50 per cent functioning.”

He used to be the total fashion down to honest appropriate 15 per cent.

Nonetheless Gagnon stepped up.

“One thing Adam could presumably moreover no longer allow you to hold is he must had been in dialysis a actually very prolonged time prior to now. He’s been combating difficult. It used to be nice as a contrivance to have something for somebody who has this kind of vivid future,” Gagnon talked about.

“Arrangement back after I used to be going to college I used to be working in a warehouse and if you are going to be ready to accept as true with it I used to be handing over things to folks that were on dialysis. I saw first-hand what of us struggle by contrivance of. So as a contrivance to place that off and have something for Adam used to be splendid principal to me.”

It used to be an emotional meeting once they in a roundabout contrivance arrived on the health center to organize for his or her surgical procedures.

“I ran and gave him a mountainous hug when we in a roundabout contrivance saw every diversified on the health center. It used to be honest appropriate amazing that it used to be truly occurring,” Frielich talked about.

WATCH | That Curling Show off:

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That Curling Show off returns for a 2nd season and curlers delight in opinions regarding the guideline changes that affect them basically the most. 1: 17: 29

Gagnon had spent the the rest quantity of months making ready for the surgical treatment and getting his health in height situation.

“I am a chunk of of older than Adam; properly, loads older than Adam,” Gagnon talked about.

“If I can put something positive accessible, if it is top to name it karma, then colossal. It is something I could presumably have.”

On Tuesday, Freilich obtained the name Gagnon’s surgical treatment used to be a hit and it used to be his time to mosey beneath the knife. He posted a video of himself being wheeled down the health center hallway on a stretcher with household by his side and the Rocky theme song taking half in.

“I honest appropriate had tears in my eyes,” Freilich talked about. “The surgeon suggested me that after I truly woke up from surgical treatment the first ingredient I talked about used to be ‘Is that this true?’

“It is true. I delight in a kidney. And then I talked about, ‘Let’s delight in fun and celebration.'”

It will most seemingly be a quantity of weeks ahead of the 2 can come back on the ice and resume their curling battles with their teams.

“We were joking about an match in Oakville (Ont.) this weekend and that he must attain desire me up because of this of he’s already out of the health center,” Freilich talked about.

“It is a simply 5 or six weeks ahead of I hit the ice. Charles appears to be like like he’s completely to mosey honest appropriate now,” Freilich talked about.

Gagnon’s dream of one day curling in Canada’s greatest bonspiel is seemingly now with Freilich.

“I figured this used to be the excellent skill to gather a half of me to the Brier, sooner or later,” Gagnon talked about.

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Kidney donation highlights cease-knit nature of Canada’s curling community