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NKF celebrates the UK’s


          500th altruistic kidney donation




         M           ore than 500 people have now helped save   Carl, 59, a postman from Oxford, donated his kidney in
                                                            2016, and his donation started a two way chain.
                     the life of a stranger by becoming a living
                     kidney donor. Changes in the law a decade
                                                            “I was proud to get the call about the operation date
                     ago made it possible for individuals to
                                                            and it was emotional because I thought ‘the recipient
                     become living donors to people in need of
                     a transplant whom they do not know and   will be getting their call at the same point’,” said Carl.
                                                            After surgery, he was gently jogging in three weeks,
          have never met. This form of living donation is known as
                                                            back in work on light duties after four weeks and pretty
          non-directed altruistic donation.
                                                            well recovered after six weeks. He later received a letter
          NHS Blood and Transplant and partner charities are
                                                            from the recipient expressing their thanks.
          now calling for more people to consider saving lives by
                                                            Carl said: “It was a life affirming experience. If I had a
          donating to a stranger.
                                                            third kidney I would happily do it again.”
          Lisa Burnapp, Lead Nurse for Living Donation at NHS
                                                            Bob Wiggins, Chair of charity Give a Kidney, which aims
          Blood and Transplant said: “Nearly three hundred people
                                                            to raise awareness of non-directed kidney donation,
          died waiting for a kidney transplant last year.
                                                            said: “When the first non-directed donors came forward
          “Living donation is highly successful, and hundreds of
                                                            around 10 years ago, many medical professionals
          people have had their lives saved and transformed in
                                                            thought there would just be a handful of people willing
          reaching this milestone over the past decade, thanks to
                                                            to donate in this way, so reaching 500 is a significant
          the incredible generosity of these donors.”
                                                            milestone worth celebrating. As a result of these 500
          Valerie Noble, aged 57, from Bexley Heath in Kent,   people many hundreds of lives have been changed
          became the 501st altruistic kidney donor. She donated   for the better and, not only that,
          through the Royal London Hospital, after being inspired   together they have already saved
          by a documentary about organ donation.            the NHS an estimated £30m -
                                                            the cost of dialysing those who
          “It was so sad to watch. I just thought I could help
                                                            received a transplant from an
          someone,” said Valerie, a self-employed interior
                                                            altruistic donor.”
          decorator, and a mum of two daughters. “I thought ‘I
          have lived my life, I still have two functioning kidneys,
          and I could give one away’. The team at the Royal
          London looked after me so well and my good health            Do we have
          was paramount to them.”                           your current email address?
          Valerie donated to a man she has never       Kidney Life has been around for many years now and
          met and she was told the transplant was
          a success. She was discharged from        it is possible that when you first registered to receive your free
          hospital after three days and felt she was   copy you did not have an email address to give us.  Or you may have
          back to normal after two weeks.
                                                moved in the past few years.  It is far more efficient & cheaper for NKF
          Carl Pinder was inspired to become an   to whiz an email over to you than to send a letter so please help us
          altruistic kidney donor after seeing a
          friend’s life saved by a transplant.     to help you. Simply email us at nkf@kidney.org.uk making sure
           Carl said: “It transformed her life and that of   your name is contained within that message.  We promise
          her young family, and I thought, ‘If I can do it          to respect your privacy!
          for someone, why shouldn’t I do it?’ I felt I was at a
          time in my life when I could look to help other people.”

           10  Spring  2017   www.kidney.org.uk   HELPLINE  0845 601 02 09
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