After four years of illness, dialysis, and searching everywhere for a kidney donor, Qualicum First Nation chief Michael Recalma has finally found a match.
Qualicum First Nation Chief Michael Recalma said getting the call that a match had been found was amazing.
“It’s still surreal, it comes and goes. It’s an emotional rollercoaster,” Recalma said about getting the call that a match had been found.
Recalma has needed a kidney transplant, for four years. His search for a donor saw over 100 people test to give them theirs, but none were ever a match.
That is until Town of Qualicum Beach councillor Scott Harrison learned about Recalma’s need and answered it.
“This is something I believe in, so I hope that there’s an impact,” said Harrison.
“I’m honoured by Scott what he’s done and the people that tried as well,” said Recalma.
“There are just no words for somebody who would step forward and say ‘have a piece of my body,'” said Recalma’s wife Sharon.
The kidney donation has become a living act of reconciliation for Harrison.
The 43-year-old first-term councillor is a direct descendent of a top Hudson’s Bay Company employee, who strongly advocated for the colonization of Vancouver Island.
Harrison agreed to donate the kidney before learning that though and said he considers this to be a step forward to healing that historic hurt to First Nations — raising up a highly respected Chief, with the gift of life.
“So there’s a bit of a full circle with history,” said Harrison.
“Reconciliation is a huge issue, all this landed is unceded that we’re standing on, and there’s a legacy that is very dark indeed and in order to address it you need to step up and take action,” he said.
The surgery will happen on Feb. 28, which is the fourth anniversary of Recalma’s kidney failure. Then weeks of recovery, and months in Vancouver for observation and treatments will follow.