Transplant surgeries prove very successful for Manitoulin mother

LONDON—So far, so good for Dawn Young, the Spring Bay woman who has a rare type of diabetes and underwent pancreas and kidney transplants at a London hospital last Friday evening.

“They (doctors) are impressed with my progress. I have already been up walking… so far everything is going well,” Ms. Young told the Recorder in a text this past Monday afternoon. “I am no longer taking insulin and my blood sugars are really good.”

“I still have a lot of adjustments to make to my medication but right now I officially no longer have juvenile diabetes,” said Ms. Young.

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Ms. Young and her family had received the call to get to London last Friday for her double transplant. “I went in at 11 pm Friday night and was out by five am.” She pointed out, “I don’t know who the donor was…all I know is that he was a male. Dr. Luke performed the surgery.”

The transplant took place at London Health Science University Hospital. Dawn’s father John drove her and her mother Pat down to London.

As has been reported previously, numerous fundraisers have been held for Ms. Young on the Island over the past several months, including a fundraising spaghetti dinner held in Spring Bay in May and a June mini golf fundraiser to help her family in covering the costs of her transplant surgery. As well, numerous donations have been made to her cause, such as the Providence Bay/Spring Bay Lions Club donation of $750; and funds raised by GoFundMe, along with money made in a 50/50 raffle held earlier, meant close to $10,000 being raised. The fundraising drive was spearheaded by Gayle Payette.

Ms. Young has had Type 1 diabetes (which she has had since she was seven-years-old), and now with the double transplant (pancreas and kidneys) it was designed to cure her of diabetes.

She had been diagnosed with diabetes after a family trip to the Toronto Zoo, when she was only seven-years-old. She had lost seven pounds and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. That began a lifelong struggle against the disease that has cost the now 42-year-old woman the use of her pancreas and kidneys.

Ms. Young noted that it was Dr. David Stephen of Little Current (since retired) who diagnosed Type I diabetes, but it wasn’t a simple and straightforward form of the disease. When most diabetics are suffering from low sugar, feeding them candy or a sweet drink can help bring their sugars back up. But in her case her sugars can go down.

“I will be in the hospital for two weeks and will have to remain in London for anywhere between two to four weeks’ time,” said Ms. Young.

Ms. Young has received a lot of support through this whole process. “I am so grateful for everyone. They have all embraced the hope for my tomorrow and I am so blessed.”