Tomorrow, Thursday 9th March, marks world kidney day.
I am lucky that my kidney disease is well managed enough to avoid things like dialysis and transplantation, though there have been times when this was almost a possibility.
However, having been involved in things like Climbing Out and attending check ups at the hospital, I have met a number of pretty awesome young people who have received kidney transplants – two in particular who became two of my closest friends. So, guys… This is for you!
Facts about your kidneys
- Kidneys get rid of waste products in the blood and balance the body’s fluids.
- Kidney disease is common and can affect anyone, including children, and there is no cure. However, less than 1 in 10 people develop kidney failure, requiring dialysis or a transplant. (worldkidneyday.co.uk & kidney.org.uk)
- Recent research suggests that 1 in 10 of the population have slight kidney failure. (kidney.org.uk)
- You can live a healthy life with one kidney and it’s possible to donate one of your kidneys altruistically (as a living donor.)
- There are around 6,000 people currently on the NHS kidney transplant list (yet there are less than 3000 transplants each year) and 300 people in need of a kidney die each year. (giveakidney.org.uk & kidneyresearchuk.org.uk)
So, now you’re slightly more aware but there is one more topic that should be spoken about:
I know that for some this is a sensitive topic but it’s an important one, and not just for kidneys. Two of the most inspiringly brilliant young women in my life are there because of organ donation. One organ donor can save up to eight lives.
We won’t need our organs when we’re gone, so why not give someone else those extra birthdays, anniversaries, hellos?
I really would recommend signing up to the organ donation register and then making your loved ones aware of your wishes. It’s so simple to do, taking no more than five minutes, and I don’t think people quite realise what an impact they can have.
Organ donation can be your legacy.
I do. Do you?