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‘Give one up, save somebody’: B.C. hot dog vendor donates kidney to customer

Click to play video 'Gift of life: Abbotsford hot dog vendor donates kidney to customer' Gift of life: Abbotsford hot dog vendor donates kidney to customer
Gift of life: Abbotsford hot dog vendor donates kidney to customer – Dec 19, 2020

We all know someone who would give you the shirt off their back, but how about a part of their body?

That’s what Abbotsford hot dog vendor Andrew “Skully” White did this week, when he donated one of his kidneys to a customer in need.

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“Hot dog king” gives customer gift of life – Jan 9, 2020

The operation was performed on Monday, and by Saturday Tim Hiscock was able to join White at his stand, Lully’s Food Experience, in the Abbotsford Canadian Tire parking lot to celebrate and snack on a kidney-shaped cake.

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Read more: Abbotsford hot dog hero donates kidney to save customer’s life

“The day after surgery I walked into his hospital room and no one else had seen him yet,” White said.

“He just looked at me, and he had a tear in his eye and he had this smile, and you could just tell that … the kidney took right away.”

Click to play video '5,000 British Columbians saved by organ transplants but donors still needed' 5,000 British Columbians saved by organ transplants but donors still needed
5,000 British Columbians saved by organ transplants but donors still needed – Jul 19, 2019

White had been serving Hiscock his famous frankfurters for about three years, but never knew the man’s name until June 2019.

That’s when Hiscock’s wife approached him and asked him not to feed her husband any more.

READ MORE: Global News viewer donating kidney to father of special needs children

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The reason? His kidneys were due to diabetes, approaching total failure, and his condition was getting worse.

“I knew you could live off of one, and I asked him, what’s the criteria?” White said.

It turned out the pair were a blood match, and White committed to the transplant within days.

“It’s a cool journey. For me to be able to yank something out of me while I’m alive and stick it into him? And he works. It’s the coolest,” he said.

Andrew ‘Skully’ White and Tim Hiscock in hospital after a successful kidney transplant. Lully's Food Experience

White was back on his feet in a few days, but Hiscock is still dealing with some pain and mobility issues from the surgery.

But he said the improvement to his overall health with the new organ in place has been overwhelming.

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“I felt better almost instantly,” he said. “It’s changed my life dramatically.”

Hiscock, a contractor, will stay off of work for some time while he recovers, but is hopeful about the future.

“It’s been a journey and we’ve still got a long way to go. But hopefully this gets the awareness out there that you too can be a live donor.”

Read more: ‘I’m touched’: Grand Chief Stewart Phillip optimistic about response to kidney donor appeal

It’s a point both men want to drive home: that most people can live a normal life with a single kidney.

Hiscock is hardly alone in need. The Canadian Kidney Foundation estimates that in 2018 there were more than 3,400 people waiting for a new kidney. Wait times can range from months to several years.

White and Hiscock are hoping that their story will encourage others to look into giving the gift of life.

“If you’ve got two healthy kidneys give one up, save somebody,” White said.

You can find out more about how to be donor here.