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Chief Mark Saunders recovering after kidney transplant, thanks public for support

Mark Saunders speaks to reporters while being introduced at a press conference in Toronto on Monday, April 20, 2015.
Mark Saunders speaks to reporters while being introduced at a press conference in Toronto on Monday, April 20, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darren Calabrese

Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders issued a statement on Friday thanking the public for their support just days after undergoing a kidney transplant.

Saunders, who was previously diagnosed with kidney disease and had been living with one kidney, announced last week that his wife would be a donor.

READ MORE: Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders to receive kidney transplant

“On behalf of my wife Stacey and I, I would like to offer our gratitude for the well wishes, prayers and messages of support we have received over the last several days,” Saunders wrote.

“Thank you, especially, to those who have shared their own transplant story with us. Your encouraging words have meant a lot as we take this journey together.”

READ MORE: 5 things to know about new Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders

Saunders underwent surgery on Monday and said both he and his wife are taking their “recovery day by day.”

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He was appointed the Toronto police chief in 2015 after spending 32 years as a police officer.

Saunders said in a statement he and his wife would be honoured if donations are made to the following charities in lieu of flowers and gift baskets.

United Way
Victim Services Toronto
Special Olympics Ontario
Children’s Breakfast Club
Covenant House
The Good Neighbours’ Club

— With a file from Nick Westoll