The Student of the Month for
January is Kaidyn Blair, a Grade 11 student at Essex District High School.
Not long after his birth, Kaidyn
was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia, a rare disease of the liver that occurs in
infants. Luckily, Kaidyn received a life-saving liver transplant and is using
his second chance at life to give back to the community and pursue his
passions. As an organ transplant recipient, Kaidyn has made it his personal
mission to inspire as many people as possible, especially the people of Essex,
to register as organ and tissue donors. To encourage community engagement, he
has created a movement in support of organ and tissue donation. He organizes the
annual “Kaidyn’s Dream Walk” from his hometown of Essex all the way to Windsor
Regional Hospital Metropolitan Campus to demonstrate the healthy lifestyle he
is living, thanks to the liver transplant that saved his life. The goal of this
walk is to raise funds and awareness for organ and tissue donation and to
increase the number of registered organ donors in Windsor-Essex. He also speaks
to schools and hospitals about supporting children on organ transplant waiting
lists. As a result of his efforts, the number of Essex residents registered as
organ donors has more than doubled from 18% three years ago to 43%, which is
more than the provincial average of 31%. Kaidyn hopes to get a majority of
Kaidyn has represented Essex
County by competing in the Canadian and World Transplant Games for a number of
years. Kaidyn has broken records and has twenty medals from the Canadian games.
In 2013, he competed at the World Transplant Games in South Africa and broke
three records, set two, and got the Junior Outstanding Athlete Award from among
48 countries participants. In 2017, he took part in the World Transplant Games
in Spain and won three gold medals for the ball throw, long jump and high jump
events. That spring, Kaidyn was presented with an Essex 73’s hockey jersey from
the Town of Essex to mark his remarkable athletic accomplishments.
Kaidyn’s thoughts on becoming an
organ donor are, “I would say just sign up. One donor can save up to eight
lives. You can save someone like me. You can be someone’s hero and make
everything awesome.” Congratulations Kaidyn for being selected by Student Senate
as the January Student of the Month.