Kidney
Photo Credit: Alicia Read

Alicia Read has been working tirelessly to find a kidney donor match for her husband after he went into kidney failure in 2020; she is doing an ultra-marathon to raise funds for the Organ Donation Foundation.

 

South Africa (10 June 2022) – Guy Read was diagnosed with complete kidney failure in January 2020; he needs a kidney transplant, so he went onto dialysis immediately while they searched for a match. To date, no match has been found, so Alicia Read, his wife, has started raising funds for the Organ Donation Foundation in the hopes of finding a match for him.

The couple started “Guy Needs A New Kidney” on Facebook to raise awareness about the importance of organ donation and to share his story. They also hope to find a living donor who could be Guy’s perfect match. So far, friends and family have all tried to donate their own kidneys; however, none had been matches for Guy.

What the couple realised was that organ donation had been severely affected by the pandemic and has yet to recover. Awareness of the cause is essential to saving lives. So, they started campaigning for the Organ Donation Foundation.

The Organ Donor Foundation (ODF) is set on bringing awareness around organ donation. It is a non-profitable and public benefit organisation. Striving to promote Organ and Tissue Donation in South Africa. The aim is to raise public awareness of the critical shortage of organ donation in our country.

For some, a transplant is their only hope to continue living. There is a dire shortage of available organs. With so many people awaiting life-saving transplants, the foundation urges more people to register as donors and speak to their families about their wishes. By becoming an organ and tissue donor, a person has the potential to save up to 50 lives when they die. However, there is also the opportunity to become a living donor to someone in need.

Living donors are only eligible to donate one kidney or part of the liver. Requirements for this type of donation are case-dependent. In Guy’s case, a living donor needs to be either blood type A or O and hopefully have a good blood reaction during the testing phase, but you can find out more about that here along with a detailed list of the requirements.

In the case of general donations, anyone is eligible to become an organ and tissue donor. All medical tests needed to see if you are eligible to be a donor are done at the time of your death. There is no age limit.

Being an organ/tissue donor is a selfless act of kindness. Donations cost absolutely nothing; no financial compensation is received by the donor or their family.

Fundraising for ODF

Alicia has teamed up with Bradley McNeil, who is also waiting for a life-saving organ, to raise R100,000 for the foundation by completing physical challenges, endurance races and marathons. Bradley is in need of a liver transplant and without one, has been given only five years to live.

This weekend, Alicia is doing the Om Die Dam Marathon, which is classed as an Ultra-Marathon. The race is a 50km one, no small feat for someone that doesn’t consider themselves a natural athlete.

“This is going to be my biggest challenge yet – everyone that knows me, knows that I’m certainly not a natural athlete and I will be taking on this beautiful race – A 50KM Ultra 

To say I am nervous is an understatement.  I have 7 hours to complete this race and God willing my body will hold up and do it slightly sooner”

Alicia’s mom, Mary Whitworth, is so proud of her for pushing her limits to help her husband, that she reached out to ask Good Things Guy to share the inspiring story. Alicia is encouraging people to support her efforts by donating to the Organ Donation Foundation here.

Here is how you can become an organ donor:

  • Firstly, register online at www.odf.org.za or call the Organ Donor Foundation
    on toll-free number – 0800 22 66 11.
  • It’s important to inform your family and make it known to them to honour your wishes.
  • The most important part of organ and tissue donation is that you undertake to make it known: Ensure you have the conversation with your family, colleagues and your friends.

The only way we can save those on the waiting list is to raise awareness.


Sources: Guy Needs a New Kidney
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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