World Kidney Day 2022 – NHS Organ Donation
Alisha Gokani, from Kent, has been told her best chance for a transplant is a living donor of Indian descent.
The 23-year-old student says: “At just seven years old, I was told I had a rare disease which meant my kidneys would fail before I reached adolescence.
“When the time came when I started to get seriously ill, my mother was kind enough to donate one of her kidneys without hesitation.
“However, it wasn’t as easy as we thought, and even with treatment and attempts at prevention, I continued to get infections and eventually rejected that kidney at 19.
“Since then I’ve been on dialysis. As a young adult trying to get a degree, it wasn’t the easiest. I had to completely rearrange my life, taking time off from college initially, but fortunately I was able to return.
“Every day is a struggle as I face complete exhaustion after receiving treatment four times a week in addition to full time education.
“Because I had a transplant before my body had created a lot of antibodies, which poses additional challenges, so I could be waiting a very long time. If a living donor comes along, my antibodies can be removed to match the donors just before the surgery, everything could be planned and controlled for the best possible result.
“Waiting for a kidney and being on dialysis during the pandemic has also led to additional complications, which makes life waiting for a transplant so much more difficult.
“Can I please ask people to discuss their organ donation decision with their family? This could be by joining the registry to donate their organs after death or perhaps seeking to see whether living donation is something they might consider.
“Living donation is a big ask and something that should not be taken lightly, but I kindly ask people to learn more about organ donation, talk to their family and discuss their decision. .”
People can donate a lifetime kidney to a specific person (a relative, friend or someone they know who needs a transplant) or choose to donate anonymously where their kidney will either go to a high priority patient on the transplant list or create a chain of transplants through the UK Living Kidney Sharing Scheme.
Learn more about living kidney donation