On Saturday 17th September, thanks to the amazing efforts of our supporters, Guy and Jermaine Jones, over 300 people enjoyed a fantastic evening of fine food and great entertainment which has raised over £21,000 towards our work.
Guy and Jermaine are two brothers who have first hand experience of the importance of organ donation, and are doing all they can to raise awareness of this to their friends and family.
Six and a half years ago, Guy and Jermaine’s mum, Judith needed a kidney transplant, and at the time, both were tested to see if they would be a match to donate a kidney through a live donor transplant. Guy was the best match so donated one of his kidney’s to his which has dramatically improved her standard of living.
Just a few years later, Jermaine was then diagnosed with FSGS, a type of kidney disease that causes scarring on the kidney filters, which has gradually reduced the function of his kidney to the point that he is now having to have dialysis treatment three times a week. At the time of his diagnosis, Jermaine was a police officer, and is now a contracts manager for a retail fit out company.
Jermaine is one of around 5,000 people who are waiting for kidney transplant in the UK (480 in Yorkshire) – with the average wait for someone on the list being 2 ½ years. This is increased to around 3 ½ years for people from Black and Ethnic Minority groups.
Jermaine, however, is now due to have a live donor transplant from his friend, Ben, using the paired donor scheme. This is where a person who needs a kidney, and has someone who has agreed to donate one of their kidneys, but is not a match, is then paired with someone else who is also in the same situation, but whose donor matches theirs. The scheme can include more than two donors in a pooled match.
The scheme which started in 2012 has greatly increased the possibilities for those needing a kidney who have someone willing to donate to have a transplant by increasing the chances of getting a matched live donor.
Jermaine is due to have his transplant within the next couple of months, and if successful will mean he will no longer need to have dialysis, and will enable him to get back to doing all the things he loves like football, rugby and kickboxing, which have all taken a back seat as the condition has worsened.
Due to their family experience, they wanted to do something to help raise awareness of organ donation, and over the past few months have worked very hard to organise an awareness and fundraising ball on behalf of Kidney Research Yorkshire.
The event took place on Saturday 17th September at the Queen’s Hotel in Leeds. The 300 guests enjoyed a fantastic night with great food and music and through various fundraising activities including a raffle and auction has raised an amazing £21,000, including over £6,000 in donations from people who couldn’t make the event.
On top of this the guests also heard both Jermaine and Guy’s stories, and Nick West who shared his kidney transplant story, having received his new kidney in October 2021. Dr Andrew Mooney, Consultant Renal Physician at Leeds Hospital, and the Scientific Advisor at Kidney Research Yorkshire spoke about the importance of the work we do at the charity and also the importance of organ donation.
Thank you to Jermaine and Guy for their amazing work in fundraising and raising awareness of just how important organ donation is. Thank you also to all of those who supported the event in person, via or donation, and everyone who donated amazing prizes for the auction and raffle.
Make sure that your family knows your personal decision on organ donation by sharing your wishes with them and also registering your organ donation decision on the NHS Organ Donor Register