In 2002, after years of kidney problems, Gunther Bruhn found out his kidneys were failing and he needed hours of dialysis – that meant a lot of time away from his family. But his wife, Christa, wasn’t going to see that. Gunter’s wife of 46 years gave up one of her kidneys to help her husband.
Christa had a fierce love of family. One of 10 children raised by a war widow, Christa put family before all else. When the time came, she didn’t hesitate to sacrifice for her husband. “We always considered Christa our hero,” says Gunther’s brother Ernie Bruhn. Her gift gave Gunther 10 more years to enjoy with his family, camping, fishing and taking trips to his home country of Germany – until he passed away in 2013.
Married in 1956 in Walsrode, Germany, the Bruhns decided to make a fresh start in Canada. They moved to Winnipeg to be close to Christa’s family and lived there for 10 years. After a visit to Vancouver, they decided to move to BC, making a happy home in Maple Ridge and then retiring to Abbotsford.
Sadly, Christa was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2012. After moving to a hospice in Abbotsford, she passed away in her sleep last year.
To show her appreciation for those wonderful 10 years the kidney transplant gave Gunther, Christa left a $25,000 gift in her will to the Transplant Research Foundation (TRF) of BC, which merged with VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation in 2015.
“Gunther and Christa are gone from us, but their memory will live forever,” says Ernie. And Christa’s estate gift will definitely live on in the work of BC-based transplant researchers. The Transplant Research Foundation Funds support made-in-BC leading edge research in transplant treatment and care, to help save and improve the lives of people threatened by organ failure, a mission the Bruhns would be proud to support.
Join donors like Christa and Gunther by leaving a gift in your will for VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation to help make a difference for patients, today and into the future. Learn more at vghfoundation.ca/legacy.