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Author's fight to raise awareness for kidney donors

PROTECTIVE: Dela Idowu

AN AUTHOR from northwest London is leading a new campaign to encourage black kidney donors after her brother was left in need of a transplant.

Dela Idowu, 54, from Brent, had to watch helplessly as her brother Tayo waited for a donor. She had offered one of hers, but was rejected because of her own health issues.

To mark World Kidney Day (March 14), she is urging the black community to consider becoming ‘living’ donors.

Health experts say that a year after surgery 94 per cent of kidneys from living donor transplants in the UK are still functioning well.

Idowu’s book, More Than A Match, chronicles her family’s experiences.
She said: “It was heartbreaking not to be able to help him and I was constantly in tears as I observed him grapple with the challenges of dialysis on a daily basis.”

She added: “People think that the aftercare of being a donor is a long process, but you can be back in work within four weeks after the operation.”

Idowu said she hoped the satisfaction of helping a loved one would motivate more black people to not only consider being a kidney donor, but also encourage them to look after their health.

According to the national charity Kidney Research UK, black and south Asian communities are three to five times more likely to suffer kidney failure than white people.

But Neerja Jain, Kidney Research UK’s health improvement projects manager, said that black and minority ethnic communities experienced this problem “because of diabetes and high blood pressure. These are both common causes of kidney disease.”

She added that a lack of awareness meant that many people were unaware of the direct link between these conditions and kidney failure.

To register to be living donor visit: http://www.organdonation.nhs.uk/
and if you would like to speak to Dela about her experiences or interested in purchasing her book visit: www.morethanamatch.co.uk

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