Sask. mother-daughter duo post TikTok to raise organ donation awareness on Green Shirt Day

TikTok sensation Bella Thomson and her mom Kyla are using the social media platform to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation.

Bella, 8, has been waiting for a bowel transplant since July 2020. It would be her second transplant after receiving a bone marrow transplant when she was one year old.

“There has not been another pediatric case in Canada where they receive a full bowel transplant after they’ve already received a bone marrow transplant,” Kyla said. “So she’ll be one of a kind with that.”

Bowel transplants have a 60 per cent success rate in people who have not had a previous bone marrow transplant, according to Kyla. Bella’s condition lowers her chances of success to about 30 to 40 per cent.

“We know the outcome of the bowel transplant is what she needs to live a life off of IVs … and all the worries and issues that come along with maintaining a central line permanently,” Kyla said.

Bella was born with cartilage-hair hypoplasia (CHH) – a genetic condition that may be the cause of a small stature. She also has severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) and a condition that put her on the transplant list.

The mother-daughter duo posted on TikTok in honor of Green Shirt Day. The video has garnered more than 16,000 views.

Kyla said the color green “symbolizes the hope for recipient and transplant families going through the transplant process.”

April is National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Month. April 7 marks Green Shirt Day to honor the legacy of former Humboldt Bronco Logan Boulet.

He was killed in the bus crash on April 6, 2018.

Boulet saved six lives through organ donation. His story of him inspired more than 100,000 Canadians to sign up as donors in the following weeks, which is commonly known as the Logan Boulet Effect.

Kyla said playing the waiting game feels like “a race against time” and it is hard not to imagine the worst-case scenario.

“There is that conversation going on in the back of my head: what will happen if her vascular access doesn’t last until she gets the call for a bowel transplant?” she said.

For Bella, a transplant would mean should could go swimming without her medical devices attached to her and would no longer need her ostomy.

She said she will feel “so excited, but nervous” when she gets the call for a transplant.

One organ donor can save up to eight lives and one tissue donor can help up to 75 people.

Saskatchewan residents can register as donors online here.

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