Family faces hurdle: ‘I want my husband back’
WINDSOR ONT, -- Cindy Reaume would like nothing more than to see her husband Gerard happy again. She says “it’s tough” watching him battle Polycystic Kidney disease. The genetic disorder sees fluid filled cysts develop in the kidney causing enlargement. That can lead to kidney failure which Gerard is dealing with.
“All my interior organs are getting pushed around and squashed around coz the kidneys are ten pounds each. They gotta go” said Reaume showing how his kidneys have caused his stomach to enlarge adding twenty pounds to his frail body. Gerard says it’s a disorder that runs in his family and flared in 2019 following a couple of heart attacks. He has been on dialysis at home for the past fifteen months.
“It's emotional to see him like that” says step-daughter Casey Sakaan. Her older sister Chris Lauzon says, “He’s a completely different guy now. Life has beat him down so much. He used to be so happy all the time”.
Hoping to help her husband Cindy went to London to see if she could be a donor. She found out she is a match but also received devastating news. “I found out I had cancer”.
She says doctors found cancerous cells in her kidneys. Cindy thought she could no longer help and worried Gerard would be put back on a donor waiting list. “He needs help now”.
A few days later Cindy says she received a call from Dr. Patrick Luke from the University campus of the London Health Sciences Centre who said, “We could take the kidney out. Clean out the cancer and still use it on your husband”. She agreed without hesitation. “Now the only risk we have is infections, your basic stuff and rejection. If my body rejects it back on dialysis and wait for another one” said Gerard.
In the meantime bills have been adding up. Cindy is laid off from Stallantis. Gerard hasn’t been able to work since 2019. Adding to the stress is a need to replace a broken furnace. “We need to seek other help. We can't do it. We tried our hardest” said Casey. She and her sister have started a go-fund me page set up to help their parents with mounting bills get through this rough patch. They would like to return to the normal they were used to. “We want our dad back the way we always see him”.