Helping to promote Organ Donor Awareness Week are (from left) North Coast Area Health Service transplant co-ordinator Jane Ruane, kidney recipient John Muldoon, of Caniaba, and Wardell Red Cross worker Ruth Partridge.
Helping to promote Organ Donor Awareness Week are (from left) North Coast Area Health Service transplant co-ordinator Jane Ruane, kidney recipient John Muldoon, of Caniaba, and Wardell Red Cross worker Ruth Partridge. David Nielsen

Red Cross helps raise awareness on organ donation

SINCE receiving a new kidney eight years ago, John Muldoon’s life has changed dramatically.

“I’ve got freedom to move and more vigour,” the Caniaba resident said.

“Before that I was on dialysis for three-and-a-half years and working at the same time.

“Dialysis is tough, but there’s no alternative until you find a donor. The other option is dying.
“Kidney failure runs in my family – it’s inherited.”

But luckily for Mr Muldoon, his sister-in-law, Colleen, offered him one of her kidneys.

They had a series of tests before doctors decided that Colleen’s kidney could be compatible.
“I just felt so much gratitude,” Mr Muldoon said.

“It’s actually too complex to put into words.

“Organ donation is just so important, especially for young people.

“Young people really need to talk to their families about whether they want to be organ donors so that wish can be honoured.

“We also need to raise awareness – that’s all we can do.”

Organ Donor Awareness Week will be held from February 21 to 28, and the Wardell branch of the Red Cross will be helping out.

On February 19 and 20, members will host stalls at shopping centres throughout Lismore, Ballina and Alstonville with informative pamphlets and posters.

Bev Stevenson, from the branch, said they were working alongside the Northern Rivers Kidney Association.

“This is the first year our branch has been involved in Organ Donor Awareness Week,” she said.

According to the Red Cross, one organ donor can save and improve the quality of life of up to 10 other people.

But only 200 people in Australia donate their organs every year.

It is one of the lowest organ donation rates in the developed world.

An estimated 100 people die each year while waiting for an organ transplant because to the shortage of organ and tissue donors.

For more information about registering, visit www.organdonor.com.au; or call LifeLink on 9229 4461.
 


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