TORONTO — A Toronto man is wondering what the future will hold, after his cousin was stopped at the airport before hoping to donate part of his liver.
Diego Menendez has liver disease and has been on the wait list for a transplant for two years. He said can barely leave his home due to his condition.
“I get tired quickly and sometimes my stomach is hurting or my legs are hurting,” said Menendez.
His deterioration has been hard for his family to watch, as the 21-year-old’s skin and eyes have taken on a yellow tinge.
“My brother used to be white as snow, healthy, his cheeks were red, he was running around all the time, joking all the time,” said his sister Lorena Menendez.
Family members in Canada have been ruled out as possible donors. They thought they may have had a lifesaving solution, in Diego’s cousin, Michael Cedeno.
After visiting from Spain last year, he offered to come back for testing to see if he’s a match.
“It’s great. Since we were like five we were always together,” said Menendez.
The family scraped together money for a flight, but Cedeno was stopped at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
“When they told me he had been detained, I was crying like a little girl,” said Lorena.
The family said they finally saw Cedeno, behind glass, at an immigration detention centre, before he was sent back to Spain.
They said Immigration officials decided Cedeno was coming to Canada to work, even though he had emails and appointments proving he was coming to Toronto to help his cousin.
Speaking from Spain, via Skype, Cedeno told Global News officers refused to even call his cousins and before he was provided with a translator he was pushed into signing a form that said he was leaving voluntarily.
“I signed it because of course I didn’t want problems. I didn’t want to have a bad record,” said Cedeno.
The Canada Border Service Agency did not answer questions from Global News regarding this case.
A spokesperson said they do not confirm or deny someone’s entry into Canada.
Immigration Minister Chris Alexander’s office refused to make him available, referring Global News back to CBSA.
Meanwhile, Diego is left with an uncertain future.
His sister is hoping someone, anyone, will come forward and help.
“I want to see a miracle from God, I want to see this surgery happen soon,” said Lorena.
Source : Global News