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Manitoba teen adopted from Ukraine in need of kidney transplant


A Steinbach area teen is hoping for the gift of life.

Thirteen-year-old Fallon Steeves found out she was in end-stage renal failure not long after she was adopted from Ukraine in mid-2020.

She is one of 11 children adopted by Sharon and Rob Steeves from the same orphanage.

"I actually had, really, fun with them, that's why when they asked me if they wanted to adopt us I say, ‘yes,’ because they are really good parents," said Fallon.

Fallon has been waiting on the transplant list ever since. Sharon said finding a kidney donor is proving to be a challenge because the family doesn't know her full family history and Fallon’s blood type is B positive, which is rare.

Sharon said Fallon has been on the waitlist longer than most kids and the last ten weeks or so have been very rocky for Fallon’s health.

“Normally kids get a kidney before anybody else because they're children, but because Fallon is a very rare blood group, they haven’t been able to find a match," she said.

The Steeves have also unsuccessfully tried to find a living donor among family and friends.

They’ve been waiting for a match for several years now and Fallon's medication depletes the family's drug coverage in only a few months.

Each night she goes to bed early and is hooked up to dialysis that cleans her blood while she sleeps. There are many things she would rather be doing.

"I want to watch a movie or play a board game or something like that," said Fallon.

"Since she came to Canada she hasn’t really experienced what real family life is, because we've had to hook her up to a machine for 11 hours every night," said Sharon.

The Steeves are hoping their story compels someone to become a living kidney donor even if the organ goes to someone else on the list.

"There are lots of kids on the transplant list that need kidneys and if you’re a younger person and you're healthy, consider being a kidney donor," said Sharon.

But if Fallon finds a match, she would get to play sports and be a more independent teenager without being tied to a machine.

"I would be really happy and I would really be thankful for the person who gave me a kidney," she said.

More information on living kidney donation can be found through Transplant Manitoba. Top Stories

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