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Published on October 1st, 2013 | by The Town Crier


How I met Schmauzer, a story of kidney swapping… By James Holdstock- Five Oak Green, Kent

Schmauzer and I were introduced in March 2013 – I was in Guys Hospital, having just donated my left kidney and Schmauzer was a gift from my wife and mother-in-law.

I am part of a ‘Paired Donation Scheme’. The way that it works is that people with two healthy kidneys can quite happily donate one without any long-term ill effects. At the same time, someone else donates a healthy kidney and they are effectively ‘swapped’, meaning that both your loved one and their loved one gets a healthy, working kidney. Not many people know about kidney swaps or altruistic organ donating, but it’s an incredibly important procedure that can drastically improve the quality of life for the ones you care about the most.

Of course, I was scared. I knew that the recovery would take a while, but the hospital was excellent. They talked me through everything that I would need to do to make sure I was well prepared physically, mentally and emotionally. My anxiety though was completely outweighed by the results. Not only did my loved one have a working kidney, but my donation had saved someone else from dialysis (which can take up days every week) and made things easier for them and the people they care about.

I feel fully recovered now, so much so that I want to continue to raise awareness and funds for kidney research whilst challenging myself in the process. It’s fair to say that my next challenge will be a big one!

Schmauzer, myself and my friend, Anthony, are completing a physical challenge to prove that you can lead an active healthy life after kidney donation.

We are completing the ’24 Peak Challenge ‘ on October 11th and 12th – This means ascending 24 Lake District Peaks in a 24 hour period. Each peak is over 2,400 feet high and we will do this over 2 gruelling days! It’s probably not going to be just a ‘beautiful walk’ as we’re expecting to be walking for 12 hours on both days; we’ll be starting and finishing our walk in the dark, and, knowing the Lake District, probably rain.

How you can help: Sponsorship is always welcome!

You can donate some money by texting PKTK73 and an amount £1 – £10 to 70070 or visit my Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/kidneytrek


– Give blood and join the organ donation register – Both of these things drastically improve the quality of lives of others. If you join the organ donation register, please let your family know of your wishes

– Find out more about kidney swapping and altruistic kidney donation – Visit www.giveakidney.org


We can all make a difference!


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