Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Go Purple – World Kidney Day – Thursday 14th March 2013

Last month I took part in World Kidney Day’s Go Purple in order to raise some money from Kidney Research UK through baking lots of goodies. I’m not full of my usual excuses as to why it has taken me so long to write about it; I have simply just been putting it off and not quite able to find the words.

At the end of 2005 on a family holiday to visit family in South Africa, my dad was diagnosed with kidney problems. After being fixed up, getting home, then going back to work in Qatar, we received a phone call telling us his kidneys had started to fail, he needed to start dialysis and he was coming home.

After three years of tri-weekly dialysis, numerous hospital visits, endless medical discussions, and talks of transplants, he lost his fight and passed away.

I don’t think there is a better word for what he did than ‘fight’; he was a silent warrior who just got on with everything, dealt with things as they came, never complained, and was the one who supported everyone else around him. There were so many occasions when I would be worrying about what was happening and he would comfort me; don’t worry, what will be will be, we have to do these things if I’m going to get better. I don’t think I could have coped if he hadn’t been so strong, and he, in turn, took strength from my mum. I know I will never be prouder of anyone. 

He was a character! Quiet until he really got to know you and then after that you were subjected to his ridiculous jokes! (“I used to be a tap dancer…but I kept falling in the sink”, “I like kids but I couldn’t eat a whole one”!!) He loved music, his PC, and technology in general. His sense of humour was a cross between Monty Python and Naked Gun, he was kind, and he was caring. Family meant the world to him. 

One of my earliest baking memories is baking shortbread with my dad in our kitchen at home. I also remember him trying to make sorbet once, maybe it was lemon, but definitely it was a disaster. I think it was in the freezer for ages! He also thought he was the best cook – everything he cooked was, according to him, perfect! He was pretty good but there was no fun in letting him know that!

Nothing could have prepared us for what happened those 7 years ago. And I imagine it is the same for many others who have been plunged into a similar situation. I hadn’t realised until now that Kidney Research UK took part in national fundraising schemes (it was a tweet from Stephen Fry that alerted me to it) but as soon as I found out I knew I wanted to be a part of helping raise money towards vital research.

The statistics relating to kidney problems are scary, particularly those relating to transplant: 90% of the people on the transplant list are waiting for a kidney, less than 3000 transplants are carried out per year, and 350 people die while waiting.[1] We were unbelievably lucky (and eternally grateful) that one of my dad’s brothers was able to give a kidney to my dad (my brother & I weren’t allowed, and my mum wasn’t a match,) but not everyone gets that opportunity. Knowing that the money I raised is being used to try and find a way to prevent this is rewarding but I know there is still a long way to go.

If you want to donate to Kidney Research UK, you can find all the information here:

And if you decide you want to join the organ donors list, all the details you need are here: 

My baking raised a lovely £241, which was both overwhelming and wonderfully generous. I would like to say a mega huge thank you to everyone who bought a cake and helped towards a cause that is so close to my heart. And I will be coming for your pennies again next year!

I will end this on a lighter note with a few pictures of what I created; safe in knowledge that my dad would have much rather had some cheese!! 

Thank you for reading,
Vicky xx

No comments:

Post a Comment