Give a Kidney is a registered charity. It was set up in 2011 by a group of people committed to promoting altruistic or non-directed living kidney donation. The founding members include 10 people who each gave a kidney to a stranger under the NHS non-directed living kidney donor scheme.
It is managed on a day-to-day basis by a Steering Committee, which includes the charity trustees and medical professionals including an advisor from NHS Blood and Transplant. The charity employs two part-time members of staff, Suzanna Den Dulk (Administrator) and Jan Shorrock (Executive Officer).
Six members of the steering committee have themselves donated a kidney.
The members of the steering committee are (in alphabetical order):
- Chris Burns-Cox (consultant physician, Gloucestershire)
- Roger Corke
- Paul Gibbs (transplant surgeon, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust)
- Sanjiv Gohil (architect, London)
- Adnan Sharif (consultant nephrologist, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham)
- Jan Shorrock (charity public relations officer)
- Sarah Stacey (live donor transplant co-ordinator, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth)
- Paul van den Bosch (GP, Pirbright, Surrey)
- Bob Wiggins
- Lisa Burnapp (lead nurse, living donation, Directorate of Organ Donation and Transplantation, NHS Blood and Transplant, and consultant nurse, living donor kidney transplantation, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust)
Trustees of the charity
Chris Burns-Cox, MD, FRCP
Paul Gibbs, FRCS (Eng), MD
Sanjiv Gohil, BA (Hons), Dip Arch RIBA
Sara Stacey, RN, Dip Nursing, BSc (Hons)
Paul van den Bosch, MRCGP
Biographical details of the steering group and advisers
Lisa Burnapp has been in renal nursing since she qualified in 1985 and was appointed as a consultant nurse in living donor kidney transplantation at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust after completing her MA in medical law and ethics in 2002.
She has been involved with the living donor programme at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals since 1995 and has retained a clinical attachment to the programme after her appointment in August 2010 to NHS Blood and Transplant as lead nurse for living donation within the Directorate of Organ Donation and Transplantation.
Chris Burns-Cox, a consultant physician, became an altruistic kidney donor in 2010, aged 72. He had read Andrew Carnegie’s essay on wealth, which ends, “A man who dies thus rich dies disgraced”. Being rich in kidneys, he decided to give one away.
He is now keen to spread the good news that altruistic living kidney donation is for everyone to consider, and he hopes that, when more people are given the knowledge, each year a thousand or more will give a kidney.
Paul Gibbs qualified at Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School in 1992. He did his higher surgical training in South West England, 1997 to 2004, which included an MD in renal transplant immunology. He worked in renal transplant units in Cardiff, Oxford and Portsmouth before being appointed as a vascular and renal transplant surgeon in Portsmouth in February 2005, where he is clinical director of the transplant programme. By September 2011, he had performed five altruistic donor procedures and his unit had performed several more.
Sanjiv Gohil is a Chartered Architect and partner in a London practice. Of Asian descent, he came to the UK from Kenya in 1967 and lives in Harrow, North West London. He is divorced, with a 13 year old son and 20 year old daughter who lives with him.
He donated his kidney to a stranger in 2011 after being inspired by a doctor appearing on TV who had recently made an altruistic donation.
Adnan Sharif qualified from the University of Edinburgh Medical School in 2002. He completed his medical training in Edinburgh and Cardiff, before undertaking an MD in the field of Renal Transplantation in Cardiff. He completed his Nephrology specialist registrar training in the West Midlands and was appointed Consultant Nephrologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, with a special interest in Renal Transplantation, in 2011. His training included a period of study at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, United States, which has expertise in altruistic donor chain transplantation. He is also a member of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) and the National BAME Transplantation Alliance (NBTA), an umbrella group with the remit to boost organ donation among minority ethnic groups in the United Kingdom.
Sarah Stacey has been the live donor transplant co-ordinator at Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, since January 2003. She is a registered renal nurse with 17 years’ experience.
She has had experience with many altruistic donors. She was heavily involved with the publicity for the UK’s second altruistic and paired donation in December 2007. This resulted in the donor and recipient meeting to promote live donation. She was also involved in a BBC documentary that followed a live donor pair through their assessment process and donation.
Paul van den Bosch is a GP. He qualified from Charing Cross Hospital in 1978 and has worked both in the UK and overseas in Zambia and the Solomon Islands. Since 2002 he has worked at a small practice in Pirbright near Guildford and for the local addiction service. He donated a kidney in 2008, which he says was very straightforward, “despite my grumbles about the assessment process to Lisa [Burnapp], who was my excellent and long suffering transplant co-ordinator.” Since then he has been looking at ways to encourage people to donate, so he was very pleased to hear about this group.
Patrons of the charity
Nicholas Evans was born and grew up in Worcestershire. He studied law at Oxford University then worked on the Evening Chronicle in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. In 1975 he moved into television, initially producing current affairs documentaries for Weekend World, before moving to The South Bank Show, where he made films about famous writers, painters and film-makers, including the great British director David Lean who became a friend and mentor and encouraged him to switch from fact to fiction. For the next ten years, he wrote and produced a number of films for television and the cinema. In 1993 he met a blacksmith in the far South-West of England who told him about people who have the gift of healing traumatized horses. Nicholas started work on what was to be his first novel, The Horse Whisperer, which has now sold more than 20 million copies across the world.
Nicholas lives in Devon with his wife, the singer/songwriter Charlotte Gordon Cumming. In 2008 both of them ate poisonous mushrooms which destroyed their kidneys and put them on haemo-dialysis every other day for the following three years. In 2011, he was given a kidney by his daughter, Lauren. Both have recovered well. Lauren is back to working, running and going to the gym. She has 100 per cent kidney function. “She has given me back my life,” says Evans. “What greater gift could one imagine?”
We were saddened to learn of the death of a remarkable man and one of our valued patrons, Stuart Hall, in February 2014. He has been a great friend and supporter of Give a Kidney since its inception. Our thoughts are with his friends and family at this time. Please read his obituary in The Guardian.
Sporting patrons of the charity
Ian Brannigan is a Project Manager with a pharmaceutical company and a member of Newcastle Athletic Club famed for running up mountains. Two years after being diagnosed with renal failure, Ian had a kidney transplant in 1998 since when his personal best times include running 400m in 56 seconds, 1500m in 4mins 37secs and 10k in 37mins 26 secs.
Ian, who has a PhD in organic chemistry, has been competing at the British and World Transplant Games since 1999 winning 38 British titles and 15 World titles. He continues to train in preparation for the 2012 British Transplant Games to be held in Medway Park a major Olympic training camp, and also hopes to gain selection once more to the British team for the 19th World Transplant Games to be held in the South Africa in 2012. He is married to Samana and they have two children. When he is not either training or competing he enjoys cycling and listening to music.
Jacqueline Dowding received a kidney transplant in 1986 and three years later took part in the Fastnet Race, one of the most gruelling races in ocean sailing. A crew of four transplantees, a doctor and a nurse they came second in their class. Jacquie was diagnosed with hereditary kidney failure by chance when she volunteered as a blood donor; her brother has since had a kidney transplant too.
Jacquie has spent most of her life at sea; sailing is in her bones and has been ever since she first crawled aboard her father’s wooden dinghy on the Essex rivers where she grew up. “Being on top of the waves is magical; a feeling of absolute freedom. I have sailed to so many parts of the world, seen so many wonderful places because of my transplant. Facing the unknown, and not knowing what direction your life is going to take, certainly makes you want to do more and get the most you can out of every day. Having a transplant has made me appreciate just how important organ donation is,” says Jacquie, who works as a Language teacher, sailing instructor and voluntarily as a SEA Safety Advisor with the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.
Orla Smyth is a solicitor and marathon runner. Three years after her 2007 kidney transplant she wanted to raise awareness of “the immeasurable difference a transplant makes” and with her husband ran the Belfast City Marathon as a relay. This year she completed it herself.
Orla was diagnosed with a degenerative kidney disease when she was eleven. She continued to live as normal a life as possible for another ten years but at 21 she had to give up football and other sports in order to have enough energy to continue to work. Orla’s first kidney transplant failed and she had to start dialysis, putting herself onto her machine every evening, even on her honeymoon. Orla looks back on this time as being really hard but fortunately after three years underwent a successful transplant in 2007. Six months later Orla ran a mile to the shop. She continues to train and compete with City of Lisburn Athletics Club, raises funds for Northern Ireland Transplant Sport and earlier this year was the Face of Belfast City Marathon 2011. Orla’s medal tally in the World Transplant Games this year was six golds, a silver, and three records however as she says the real success story is that each of the thousand or so athletes, selected from their home teams of thousands more, can compete and represent their country because they each have received a transplant.