Surgery for an Abbotsford man and the man who is giving him a kidney has been scheduled for Dec. 14.
Tim Hiscock, 46, who found out in May 2019 that his kidneys were failing, will receive a kidney from Skully White, 51, the owner and operator of Lullys Food Experience – a gourmet-hot-dog stand that runs out of the Canadian Tire Parking lot.
The pair, who met when Hiscock was a customer of White’s, have spent much of the year – after they found out they were a blood match – undergoing all the necessary tests to ensure they are a perfect match and to make sure they are physically ready.
As well, White had to undergo psychological testing.
“All my customers were taking bets on how bad I was going to fail,” laughed White, who has a reputation among his friends and customers as being a jokester.
They found out near the end of October that they had passed all the hurdles and that their surgery date had been scheduled at Vancouver General Hospital.
White said the procedure is expected to take three or four hours for him, and seven for Hiscock.
But the post-surgery period is expected to be more difficult for White, requiring him to spend three months recovering, on top of the two weeks he has to self-isolate beforehand.
“The recovery for me, from what I’m being told, is no lifting of anything over 10 pounds for a least two months,” he said.
The entire process will require White to take three and a half months off work at his busiest time of the year with no one else to keep the business running in the meantime.
To support him financially during this time, Hiscock’s wife, Cindy, has started a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $15,000. (Search “Skully of Lullys is giving my husband a kidney” at gofundme.com.)
“Skully … is donating one of his kidneys to save my husband Tim’s life,” she states on the page. “We are starting this GoFundMe to help Skully make it through this period.”
White first agreed to donate his kidney in January when Hiscock dropped by the hot dog stand and shared his health crisis with White.
Hiscock, who was diagnosed with insulin-dependent diabetes 16 years ago, and his wife and 10-year-old son were on a trip to Disneyland in May 2019 when he became seriously ill.
Upon their return home, Hiscock was told that his kidneys were drastically deteriorating. By November 2019, he was told that he was approaching the need for dialysis and that he should start looking for a kidney donor.
When White heard the story a couple of months later, he immediately informed Hiscock that if they were a blood match, he would donate his kidney.
Once the blood match was confirmed – they are both type O – a series of tests followed over the next few months that included ultrasounds, CAT scans, and blood-tissue sampling.
Meanwhile, Hiscock has been on daily dialysis for several months, now doing it from home.
White is staying healthy by watching his diet – very limited salt and none of his beloved hot dogs, grape Kool-Aid or Irish whiskey – but he says it’s worth it.
“I’m so excited about this, this trip. It’s a journey of a lifetime to sit there and say, ‘Yeah, they yanked something out of me while I was alive, and stuck it in somebody else, and he’s living,’ ” he said.
White is using his experience to encourage others to volunteer as kidney donors through the Kidney Foundation. He said anyone he meets who donates a kidney will receive 52 free hot dogs and drinks each year from Lullys.
He’s planning to document his journey on social media “to show other people that it’s an easy thing to – and that you can donate and save somebody’s life and still live a normal life.”