Joey died tonight after a long struggle with Cystic Fibrosis. He never gave up, but his body gave out on him. His kidneys weren’t working, his liver, although it worked for a while, shut down tonight (likely as a result of the trauma his body was experiencing), his lungs were filled with a dense pneumonia, and they were unable to keep his blood pressure stable. The ICU team at VGH helped him fight a hell of a fight, but even after pulling out all of the stops, were not able to save him. The infection was in his lungs, his belly, and his blood. It was too much.

We heard several of the docs say that Joey had nothing left in the way of reserves to fight off the infection because he had a long wait and was so sick before his transplant. He had a will of steel, but you also need to be physically capable to survive such a major operation and the recovery.

The best way that people can help, is to make sure that you are registered to be an organ donor. I am confident that if Joey had received his transplant earlier, I would not be alone, a widow, at 31. I do not know who I am without him.

A large portion of people I talk to are under the impression that they are registered to be organ donors, but when we check it out together, they are not (it is no longer on your driver’s license or care card). The biggest way that people can help other families not go through what we are going through is to grab their card card number and check their registration status at: Then sign up if you agree with organ donation. If you can say with certainty that you would not be an organ donor if it was your child, or spouse, or sibling, or parent who needed a transplant to save their life, then don’t sign up. Otherwise, please make your decision known so that other families don’t keep losing their loved ones.

I also wanted to send out a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us year, after year, after year. Knowing people care goes a long way and we are eternally grateful. We are very, very lucky.

There is still no cure for Cystic Fibrosis, the most common, fatal genetic disease affecting Canadian children and young adults. In addition to our own struggles, both Joey and I are tired of losing our friends to this deadly disease. If people are interested in helping to find a cure for CF, or learning more about the disease, I encourage them to visit:

I am at a loss. A massive, massive, loss.


36 thoughts on “Joey

  1. Marilynn February 22, 2011 / 6:12 am

    Dear Kirstin, I am so sorry for your great loss.Joey will always be in my heart and remembered for the great man he was-a caring, loving and humorous man.My love and deepest sympathy goes out to all of the family.

    Love Auntie Marilynn

  2. Nathan Fish February 22, 2011 / 6:45 am

    Kirstin, I just wanted to let you know how truly sorry and sad we are to hear of your loss. You and your family are in our thoughts.

    Nathan and Janet

  3. margand1 February 22, 2011 / 7:43 am

    Kirsten, there are no words to capture what I want to say. Know that we will be here when you need us. Your love for Joey never failed him. What a loved man he was.

  4. Barb February 22, 2011 / 7:59 am

    Kirsten there is nothing I can say to ease the loss. Just know that I am here if you need anything. Joey was such a jewel and was very blessed to have you at his side.He will always have a special place in many peoples hearts as will you for being such a pillar for him. I admire you!

  5. Kim February 22, 2011 / 8:07 am

    Kirsten I am so sorry. Joey put up such am amazing battle as you did beside him. My thoughts are with you and I am here anytime.
    With Much Love

  6. jacquelyn February 22, 2011 / 8:16 am

    Kirsten I am soo sorry, Joey was an amazing man who had more strength than anyone I have ever known. Thank you for being by his side for so may years. He will always be loved thought of often and missed as he continues his journey. Love to you and the rest of his family and friends.

  7. jamie salmond February 22, 2011 / 8:17 am

    Joey died a happy man because you were at his side! Your love and support carried him through this journey not alone but with you eternally by his side. Rest in peace Joey

  8. jenn0576 February 22, 2011 / 8:54 am

    I am sooooo sorry Kristen…my prayers and thought will always be with you and your are an inspiration to me…love Jenn

  9. Connie February 22, 2011 / 9:11 am

    Dear Kirstin,
    My heart is aching for you, Joey and the family. The world is missing one of its true treasures now, no one knows that better than you. He will truly be missed by many, but never forgotten and always loved. You are in our thoughts, prayers and with our love to you always,
    Auntie Connie and Uncle Keith

  10. chrissy February 22, 2011 / 9:49 am

    God bless you JoJo! ❤ You will be remembered forever in all our hearts. We send our love to the whole family!

  11. justinandamanda February 22, 2011 / 10:21 am

    I am so sorry for your loss Kirsten, and that of your families. Such a loss. You are in our thoughts.

  12. kevin February 22, 2011 / 10:40 am

    Well, sigh, RIP Joey. 😦

    Donor Registry Verification
    You were registered on 7/21/2009 1:39:55 PM.
    Thank you for registering your decision.

    ^^Hopefully in the future I can be a part of getting someone’s transplant filled a little sooner.

  13. taylormoss February 22, 2011 / 11:10 am

    I never had the chance to see you guys much, I actually can’t remember the last time I did.. but I never ever forgot about the fight Joey had. I love you Joey, and am so sorry Kristin.

    love Taylor

  14. Lisa McClenaghan February 22, 2011 / 12:20 pm

    I am so sorry to hear that Joey passed. Joey was a fighter and a true inspiration. He was so incredibly fortunate to have you in his life. My thoughts and prayers go out to u and your family on this sad day.


  15. Brandy February 22, 2011 / 12:30 pm

    This is so hard to believe. You are very loved and will be missed Joey. We are thinking of you with all our hearts Kirstin.

    Brandy & Bruce

  16. sarah meemo February 22, 2011 / 12:53 pm

    I can’t imagine the pain and sorrow you are feeling Kirstin. You and Joey are the most selfless, inspirational, happy people I have ever met. I can see you as a leading board member of CF one day. I registered to be an organ donor this morning and will promote the cause. My heart is with you.

  17. mommy26kids February 22, 2011 / 1:55 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss, Kirsten! I thank you and Joey for allowing us into your lives and letting us follow such a personal journey. Today I signed my universal donor card and hope that I can at least convince one other person to do the same thing. It is such an important cause and in the end, you just don`t know whose life that you could be saving.
    You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers!

  18. carol February 22, 2011 / 2:44 pm

    Kirstin &””””” ALL the family,””””””
    I am so sorry, I cant stop crying, Kirstin, I will always remember your courage,love & braveness you showed in your posts.Joey,I love you,you fighter you, You are missed but are painfree now,peace, perfect peace. Rest now, Joey. I sat up 1/2 the night & read all the posts & comments, that seems strange to me now. To all the family, cherish the many happy memories, there are many, many people who wont forget him,his struggles, his strengths, his humour…he is a legend to us. Kirstin & family, stay close,you have a bond that will live on forever……carol (powell river)

  19. sarah_mattalo February 22, 2011 / 3:03 pm

    Dear Kristen,
    Someone mentioned Joey last night at work (PRGH)and so of course I had to check out to see where and how things were. I am so sad and so sorry. This is not at all what I expected to learn. I can think of many great things to say about you and Joey. So many wonderful thoughts and inspirations. But the words don’t even come close to describing or comforting such a loss. Maybe one day my voice will be able to express how my heart feels. But today is not that day. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

  20. wmjohnst February 22, 2011 / 3:40 pm

    Dear Kirsten, Rene and family,

    So sorry for your loss…. It was an honour to have been friends with you and Joey. Please stay in touch.

    My deepest sympathy to all of Joey & Kirsten’s family.

    Love Wendy Johnston

  21. Ron Larson February 22, 2011 / 4:04 pm

    I don`t know what`s been a bigger inspiration, You and Joey`s strength and will or the profound love you both share. It`s not the duration but the depth of love in which we travel this path. Joey will live in the hearts of those of us you had the privilege to know such a courageous loving soul.I Remember when Joey fell in the swamp playing disc golf, then in the second round he aced that same hole.
    With Love,
    Ron and Lisa Larson.

  22. wenlin February 22, 2011 / 5:08 pm

    Words of comfort are not coming easily, as the pain of our past wounds are surfacing.
    We share your immense sorrow.
    In time, we will be in touch.
    Love, Wendy, Stu and family.

  23. Kim Carey February 22, 2011 / 5:40 pm

    Dear Kirsten and family,
    We are so terrribly sorry for your loss and your pain. Joey was an amazing man. Please know he will never be forgotten. Through his battle he still did what he could to help others fight similar wars and with you Kirsten, by his side. You were both blessed in each others love that so many never find. Your time you had together may have been short, but your love will go on forever. He carried the memory of our beloved Chad on after our loss and it always touched our hearts and meant so much. Kirsten you are an amazing person yourself. May you and your family eventually find peace.
    Love, Kim, Shon and Logan Carey

  24. Leah February 22, 2011 / 7:05 pm

    Dear Kirsten,
    I am so sorry for your loss. Although I did not know Joey very well, both of your strength and courage is inspirational. Your love and devotion to one another was very apparent. Again, I am truly sorry.
    Love, Leah

  25. mwillis February 22, 2011 / 7:08 pm

    Kirstin<3 I have been following intently especially over the last few weeks, and particularly over the last few days, it was the first thing I checked this morning, I am so honored to know both of you, and I am so inspired by so many aspects of who you are. I KNOW that joey's energy and spirit will never diminish, it is an impossibility! The position you are in is so unfair, but I know joey wouldn't ever leave you in spirit (I am sure he'd do everything he could to haunt you;) ( I am trying to practice your amazing form of comic relief) I want you to know that I am a friend who believes in your strength, for you are just as strong as joey, and anytime you need a friend, or need anything, please let me know, I am thinking of you a whole lot right now, and I know you have many people caring for you, keep in touch, when you are ready, I would love to see you, your friend, michelle

    Ps. I will be double checking my donor status, handed in the card, but will confirm right after this

  26. caroleannie February 22, 2011 / 9:56 pm

    Kirsten you beautiful, strong person,
    there are no words. I am so very sorry for your loss and wish I had some magical words to comfort you at this time but do not.
    You are an amazing person and I know you will carry on Joey’s memory and will spread the word about organ donation and cf awareness towards a cure. I know nothing will bring him back but his memory will live on through you. I checked my organ donation registration because of you back when I first talked to you about Joey and am happy that I have been registered since 1999. Maybe it will do some good someday. Take good care and hope to see you soon.
    CaroleAnn xo

  27. Rhianda February 22, 2011 / 10:38 pm

    Kirsten and Family,
    Our hearts are so heavy today. The best we can do is to wish you peace. You and Joey have been truly inspirational to so many and have touched so many lives. I’m so happy to have know you both, even just a little bit. Thank you for helping Chad’s memory to live on as well as raising so much awareness about organ donation and CF, it has meant so much to the Linsdell family and countless others.
    I’m happy to say I’ve been a donor since that very first golf tourney, before that I only thought I was because or that silly license sticker! The word does get out and I will help in any way I can to spread it.
    Now it’s time to let everyone take care of you. I wish there was more we could do. You are in our thoughts.
    Rhianda, Dustin and family

  28. Drummerboy1969 February 22, 2011 / 10:40 pm

    I was told about your website when my siter-in-law was put on the Lung Transplant list to deal with her CF. She died Sept. 7/07 because there were no compatable lungs. I have quietly continued to follow Joey and your fight against this aweful disease. I am so sorry for your loss. I have some idea of what you are going through right now. Know that you are not alone.


  29. Leah Turner February 22, 2011 / 10:46 pm

    Dear Kirstin and family;

    Words cannot express my heartfelt sorrow to learn another young and vibrant person has lost their fight to this terrible disease. And even though I only had the opportunity to have met Joey just twice – and the first time under sad circumstances at my cousin Chad’s memorial – his passion and determination to fight the good fight was awe-inspiring. From time to time I would refer to this website to see how Joey was doing and was deeply saddened to learn of his passing. Kirstin you are an amazing pillar of strength and my thoughts and prayers are with you during this time. Joey will forever be in all our hearts.

    Leah Turner & family

  30. January & Bradley February 22, 2011 / 11:57 pm

    Dearest Kirstin,

    I am at a complete loss for words, except to say that you are an amazing woman to have taken this journey with Joey. He is loved so very much by so very many people, he touched so many lives, I remember his laugh and his smile,and the humor he had through all the stories he used to tell, he is going to be missed so very much and never forgotten! ♥

  31. Ryan and Megan February 23, 2011 / 7:37 am

    Oh Kirstin, I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of Joey. I cannot imagine what you are going through right now, and yet, even in your time of grief, you reach out to guide and teach others about organ donation and cystic fibrosis. You are amazing and, although we never met in person, I can see how lucky you and Joey both were to have each other. Much love being sent to you from us here.
    Ryan and Megan

  32. Shelley Dawson Greenwood February 23, 2011 / 1:16 pm

    Dear Kirstin,
    I am so sorry for your loss of your amazing and inspirational husband. He was an incredible human and will be deeply missed. Though I don’t know you I did know Joey during high school and I wanted to say THANK YOU! Thank you for supporting him, being his rock, being his voice when he couldn’t fight on his own, putting your whole heart and energy into fighting with him to live the best life and encouraging him when he needed it most. Thank you for sharing your life and sentiments with us throughout this journey and for showing us your love for him. THANK YOU! I appreciate you more than you know and wish you well as this journey takes a terrible and tragic turn.
    Thinking of you and the Whitford family and wishing all of you strength and courage as you grieve and love Joey!
    He will be missed incredibly and loved forever, gone from here, but never forgotten!
    ❤ you Joey
    ❤ and all of the Whitford family

  33. mwillis February 23, 2011 / 1:59 pm

    Donor Registry Verification

    You were registered on 10/26/2005 11:37:12 AM.

    Thank you for registering your decision.

    I am registered, just wanted to let you know. thinking of you!


  34. Sunshine February 23, 2011 / 3:09 pm


    Hugs from the both of us.
    Teedie and Deb.

  35. Marian February 23, 2011 / 6:23 pm

    My heart goes out of you, Kirstin. Condolences to you and all your family. Two brave, brave young people. It’s so strange how you can miss people you have never met, but 1,000’s of Powell Riverites and people elsewhere will miss Joey hugely.

    My husband, Phil and and I went online last year and put our names on the organ donor list. We had cards before but you and Joey inspired us to make sure we appeared on the online list.

    Phil knows your mother, Liz, from tai chi. He joins me in offering heartfelt sympathy to you all.

    – Marian Kemp
    Fernwood Avenue

  36. matt hardman February 24, 2011 / 9:28 am


    I’m so sorry to hear about Joey he was truly an awesome individual. He had an amazing sense of humor, and he will be missed. Please email me about his services I would like to come and offer my condolences in person and say goodbye.

    Matt Hardman

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