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Could you give one of your kidney's and gift life?

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Midland- Regional Renal Centre is launching a campaign on World Kidney Day (14 March 2018) to get the kōrero started on live kidney donations.

Give one, gift life is being driven by Waikato DHB renal specialists Dr Lai Chan, Dr Drew Henderson and clinical nurse specialist Kirsty Parsonson and the campaign is being fronted by local people - live donor Nicci Sarah and live donor recipient Te Taiete Eketone - and their powerful journey of how one person’s kindness saved another person’s life through donating a kidney.

"We don’t want kidney disease to be quiet and we need to encourage more kōrero in our region because a lot more whānau could live longer with a live kidney donation," says Dr Drew Henderson.

"We can’t thank Nicci and Te enough for helping us get this important message out," he states.

"Last year, we had a record number of transplants in the Midland region with 29 patients receiving a kidney. 12 of these patients received a live donor kidney from either a friend or whānau member."

The Regional Renal Centre needs more live donors to come forward because there are currently 85 patients on the kidney transplant waiting list and this number is growing every year.

Dr Henderson also says: "If a person is waiting for a deceased donor, the wait is on average between three and four years. For those people who receive a kidney from a live relative or friend, it will reduce their time on dialysis significantly".

For more information about the give one, gift life campaign please visit this website: www.waikatodhb.health.nz/kidneydonation

There’ll be more stories featured overtime.

Read Nicci and Te’s kōrero:

Nicci Sarah - live donor

"I saved a man’s life called Te.

"Te’s gone on to have children and it gives me a warm feeling to know my kidney is good, still strong and giving Te freedom to live a full life with his whānau.

"Our journey started back in 2012. I was his boss at Spring Hill Corrections Facility. I had worked with Te for over two years and didn’t know he was sick or that he was actually dialysing due to renal failure. Something I had to Google, and was shocked at what lay ahead for his kōrero.

"I asked if he was in line for a kidney, and he replied, "Yes, but there are hundreds of people ahead of me, things are not looking too good".

"It broke my heart to see such a great man with a beautiful soul, suffering. He was dialysing three times a week, for four hours a day, trying to keep his life together.

"So I said, "I’ve got 2 you can have 1".

"I had never thought about a live kidney donation until I saw Te suffering. When I knew I could help save his life nothing was going to stop me.

"I have a daily reminder of our journey, my scar - I am so proud of. I love it because it is a symbol of a life saved and a life created.

Te Taiete Eketone - live donor recipient

"Today, I challenge my people to re-think traditional views on organ donation at the Marae and at big iwi hui/gatherings because we have to change the way we think because our

people are dying. We have to think about live kidney donation - to save lives.

"My life was saved on 27 August 2014 with a kidney transplant from Nicci.

"To go to work every day and feel well is such a massive gift, which people take for granted; to get

rid of the dialysis machine was a beautiful day all thanks to the kindness of my donor.

"Nicci approached me at work one day and asked: "What’s wrong with you?". I told her I was on

the waiting list for a kidney transplant and she immediately said, "I want to be your donor".

"I was shocked and couldn’t believe an almost stranger was willing to give me their kidney. Nicci even took it upon herself to find out how to begin this journey and organise the testing process.

"Me and my whānau, we are so grateful to Nicci for her life-saving gift and always will be. Her gift meant that we could be blessed with another child.

"It turns out Nicci and I also share the same whakapapa, and I truly believe in some way our ancestors brought us together and this was meant to happen.

"Live donation was a serious topic of discussion among whānau members because of their cultural views on taking another person’s body part. This is why we were first hesitant about Nicci’s offer, but after this experience if your loved one is ill and there is an option for life, you have to grasp it."

-Midland region includes Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hauora Tairāwhiti and Lakes district health boards.

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