Call for more donors

APPEAL: Dave Hill with Emma Collins
APPEAL: Dave Hill with Emma Collins

CHARITY co-ordinator Emma Collins has told of her delight at a donor register boost thanks to a Hartlepool Mail story.

One unnamed man called her as soon as we published the account of Hartlepool man Dave Hill, 59. He was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease (PKD). In an amazing coincidence wife Gill, 55, was diagnosed with the same condition.

Dave, though, is the only one to suffer from serious effects. He is on dialysis at home while he waits in hope for a transplant.

In our article around one month ago, he urged people to come forward and sign up to become a kidney donor after statistics revealed that 300 people a year die in the UK while they wait for a transplant.

Dave’s plea worked and one man duly rang Emma who is the community fundraising manager for Kidney Research in the region and lives in Hartlepool.

She said: “As soon as it was in the Mail, a man rang saying that he wanted to be involved.

“We referred him to see his GP and he will have to go through the processes to see if he could potentially one day be a match for someone.”

Emma urged others to come forward and add themselves to the donor list.

“We were delighted to get that call and we would be delighted to get others too,” she said.

Our story told how Dave’s condition was spotted 11 years ago by Gill who noticed an unfamiliar bald patch on his head near his ear.

He shrugged it off at first but over the next few weeks, started to get bald patches all around his head.

Blood tests then highlighted that Dave had polycystic kidney disease and he went onto the transplant list earlier this year.

More than three million UK people are at risk of kidney disease and 90 per cent of people on the UK transplant list are waiting for a kidney. That’s around 7,000 people.

But 300 people a year die while waiting for a transplant.

Every hour someone is diagnosed with kidney cancer. Kidney Research UK has invested over £47m in research since 1985, through 30 centres of excellence.

It has discovered new genes responsible for many kidney diseases, established treatment for anemia, made a significant breakthrough on kidney scarring and co-funded the most successful clinical trial on kidney disease in the UK.

But kidney disease is currently incurable which means support is needed to continue both research and to help people who need treatment and transplants.

For more information on how you can help, contact Emma by emailing emmacollins@kidneyresearchuk.org or calling 07956 151755.