CANCER SURVIVOR, ORGAN RECIPIENT & PROUD ORGAN DONORIt was my 35th birthday and the call came in from Westmead Hospital, we have got a Kidney for you- Neha! Indeed I was a bag of mixed emotions because for the last five years ‘I was dying to live everyday’ where I was hooked to a dialysis machine for 11 hours after surviving Kidney Cancer, with restricted diet (no dairy, no greenies, no nuts) and restricted fluid intake (1 litre including any tea or coffee or curry).
Life was very difficult as I have limited social life and visiting hospital every now then with lots of complication arising from dialysis. I missed my sister’s wedding due to travel restriction and the complications due to infection.
But this one call, changed my life forever. I thanks to the family of organ donor who made this selfless act of kindness in their tough times when they lost their loved ones.
ORGAN RECIPIENTManisha from Victoria knows first-hand how important it is to be an organ donor. After battling kidney disease for five years, Manisha received a donor kidney from a close friend and her life changed overnight. That was eight years ago and her commitment to organ and tissue donation awareness has never waned.
“Because I’m a kidney recipient, I know how very important it is to pledge your organs,” says Manisha. “Once you leave the body, your organs are of no use to you anymore. As I see it, they will either go to ash, or go underground - so why not bestow them to a noble cause and save lives? As an organ donor, you can save the lives of many people.
ORGAN DONORAbout two years ago, a close family member of Dineish’s was unexpectedly diagnosed with end stage kidney disease and told he needed to commence dialysis immediately for 10 hours a day. After learning that it could take 3-4 years on the waiting list for a deceased donor kidney, Dineish offered to become a living donor. Luckily, he was a match and eight months later, both donor and recipient are doing well. Dineish says it’s been incredible to witness the difference a transplant makes, and is so proud that he was able to save the life of someone so close to him.
He admits that prior to his family member’s diagnosis, he hadn’t thought about registering as a donor and felt it was always an uncomfortable discussion to have with his family. “I was never against it, but I always thought, ‘I’ll do it later’. All of this changed when my family member, who is young and fit, suddenly needed a transplant to survive. These diseases don’t discriminate and could affect anyone. Raising awareness about organ donation is now something I’m very passionate about.”