‘As a donor you can leave a lasting legacy’

2019-09-04 06:00
PHOTO: suppliedFounder of Positive Renal Organisation, Sithabile Myende.

PHOTO: suppliedFounder of Positive Renal Organisation, Sithabile Myende.

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“FOLLOWING a healthy lifestyle could prevent kidney disease and this is the message an organ donation awareness campaign hopes to bring across at their fun run that will be held on September 1 at Camps Drift Park grounds from 8 am.

The campaign, being hosted by non-profit organisation Positive Renal Organisation, which was formed in November last year, will start with a 5 km run.

The organisation aims to assist patients suffering with renal failure and their families with coping mechanisms, group support and to provide information on conditions leading to kidney failure.

Sithabile Myende, who is a founder of the NPO, told Echo that the aim of this event is to create awareness on organ donation to help save lives and reduce waiting times for kidney transplants.

She said they have seen a rise in end-stage renal disease cases.

“We are going to teach the public about basic screening to assist and help them manage their own lifestyles to prevent kidney diseases.

“We also want to eradicate the stigma around organ donation to ensure people are able to register and assist their friends and families affected by the condition. We will also teach them about blood types,” she said.

“We want to make it normal for the public to understand that [organ donation] can assist a lot of people affected with not only kidney disease. We want them to know that seven organs can be lifesaving in a person.”

Myende said they believe that many people are not informed when it comes to organ donation and they fear it.

“Some believe they won’t be accepted by ancestors if they donate, some have little information about how to register. It’s easy, if you are on the list, to save someone [rather than making the] family decide after an hour or so to donate, as some organs need to be taken as soon as possible,” she said.

Myende said they will be doing hypertension screening, diabetes screening and urine testing, because with these three things a clinical practitioner or a doctor in a clinic can easily pick up signs of kidney failure.

“So, we will be teaching them that these basics can save lives.

“When they go home they will be equipped and have a full understanding of the condition and organ donation and how, by donating, you live your legacy through [giving] the gift of life,” she said.

The fun run joining fee is R80 for adults and R50 for children.

Although this will be the first event of its kind for the NPO, Myende said they want to make it an annual one.

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