Category Archives: Renal

Yes thanks but not every day


Like chocolate.
It was great to meet a big group at the young adults clinic in Oxford yesterday. A bit older than I expected, and where were the girls and women, but their tales were the same as everyone tells really. So I asked them about looking up results online, and several of them had access, but most only used it sometimes.
Healthy behaviour probably. People who cope well with long term kidney disease seem to go through phases of paying close, even intense attention to getting things right, allowing them to move on to periods where they can just lead normal lives.


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Organs at the Edinburgh Festival

The Organ Grinders at Ghillie Dhu

Andy Williamson is a talented jazz saxophonist who has played at the Edinburgh Festival many times in the past.  But he also has PKD, and has a kidney transplant donated  3 years ago by his friend and keyboard player Maff Potts (actually, Maff plays the (Hammond) organ).  They did a fantastic show in a smart converted church, starting at 11pm, and the only problem was that I had to do a clinic next morning.  Thanks to Thursday 12th’s patients for being understanding.  Andy was puzzled that their biggest hit was ‘Toxic‘ (Britney Spears) in the style of Johnny Cash, but I thought their Stormy Monday, and the Russian song on the tables, were great.

The organ at St Cecilia's Hall

No holiday this summer so have caught a lot of great things at the Fringe, but because the music at St Cecilia’s Hall was so beautiful it’s nice to find an excuse to put in another organ.

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Living donors, wonderful people

Blogging kidney by Beth Shortt

The Human Tissue Authority recently approved the 3,000th living transplant in three years – most of these were kidney donors.   Living related transplants form an increasingly important proportion of all kidney transplants.

Remarkably, a growing number of these are coming from ordinary people who have no relationship to the recipient of their kidney – ‘altruistic donors’.  It seems to be getting easier to do this, but saying that you’re going to give one of your kidneys to an unknown stranger does seem to upset some people, even friends and family.

Altruistic kidney donation only became legal in the UK in 2008; 15 were approved in 2008/9 and that looks like being exceeded again this year.  These very generous, wonderful people have made a huge difference to many lives – not just the recipients, each time a transplant is done.  Here are some tremendous stories from four of them:

John Fletcher, a farmer in Fife
Paul Vandenbosch, a GP from Surrey
Maggie Harris, a teacher from Manchester
Barbara Ryder, from Cornwall

There are lots of sites on the web about altruistic donation, but if you’re thinking of it, go to your doctor, and best to mention it to your family too.

More art by Beth Shortt

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Hills and Ben Nevis

Ben Vorlich

We spent more days in the hills this year.  In part this was to be sure that volunteering to join a sponsored stroll up Ben Nevis wasn’t crazy, but it’s been lovely too, and we’ve taken visitors with us, some of their own free will.

The Ben Nevis escapade that many people very kindly sponsored us for was really worth it, it was a great weekend.  It felt like time to do a Kidney Research UK event after being involved with it for so long – in recent years as a trustee.  Our JustGiving  page is still open if anyone is keen, but we can strongly recommend KRUK events, we’d sponsor you and you’d have a great time.  A really interesting mix of people to share hotel, exhaustion, even a punishing ceilidh on return.  The next morning we walked along Glen Nevis and had fantastic fish and chips at the Real Food Cafe at Tyndrum.

See the trip on YouTube.

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