Personal Stories


Tessa: As a Paediatric Doctor, knowing a child was part of the chain means so much to me

Paediatric Emergency Doctor and mother of three, Tessa, donated her kidney to a stranger last winter. She admits that despite having sedated many patients, she was apprehensive about the operation but recovered well and ‘doesn’t feel any different living with just one kidney’. More than 10 years ago, I listened to podcast called ‘Strangers’, which […]



ruby blowing a kiss at an aeroplane
Ruby: I have done things I’d never considered whilst on dialysis

Ruby was born with reflux of the kidneys which over time developed into renal failure. She had her first dialysis session on her 10th birthday in 2002. I was on peritoneal dialysis for six years before I contracted a fungal infection called peritonitis which meant I had to switch to hemodialysis at the age of […]



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Rachel: Donating at Christmas was a great time to be looked after!

Before teacher Rachel gave her spare kidney to someone she didn’t know, she already knew rather more than she wanted about the process. Her introduction came through a friend who worked on the dialysis ward in a Nottingham hospital and through whom she had learnt how unpleasant that is. But then, out of the blue, […]



Claire: I cannot save the world but donating a kidney can make a big difference

Claire Ramsden from Kirkham, Lancashire gifted one of her healthy kidneys to a stranger in 2013. “As a Platelet Donor, and previous to that a Blood Donor, the idea of donating was not unusual for me, however it was fairly recently that I found out about living kidney donation through the media. Until then I […]



James: the paired donation scheme is so important

James Holdstock donated a kidney early in 2013 as part of a Paired Donation Scheme. Here is his story: Schmauzer and I were introduced in March – I was in Guy’s Hospital, having just donated my left kidney and Schmauzer was a gift from my wife and mother-in-law. I am part of a ‘Paired Donation […]



Tony Burgess

Tony Burgess talks about his decision to donate a kidney to a stranger as a Christmas gift 2012.



Helen Marston

Helen’s husband was initially horrified when he heard about her plans to donate a kidney.



Di Franks

After donating a kidney, Di set up a website: www.livingkidneydonation.co.uk.



John Fletcher

“The whole thing has been life-enriching beyond anything that I could ever describe. Of all the things I have done in my life, this one has been the happiest. I cannot recommend it strongly enough.”



Sanjiv Gohil

Sanjiv donated a kidney at the Royal Free Hospital in London.



Kenneth Dooley

“It’s just getting the word out, and getting more people to know about it…”



Viv Calderbank

Viv is a graphic designer who lives in Cornwall. She donated a kidney in 2011.  



Richard Pitman

Professional jockey, racing commentator and altruistic kidney donor.



Simon Swailes

“No regrets at all. No second thoughts. This is something that ought to be done by more people.”



Joanna Kozubska

Joanna donated a kidney in 2012. “If I had three kidneys, I’d do it again,” she says.



Mary Dixon

Mary Dixon first started thinking about donating a kidney 21 years ago, when she was training to be a nurse.



Julie Saunders

Julie received a card from her recipient, which she looks at nearly every day.



Liza Schuster

“I can’t say I enjoyed the process, but I’m really glad I did it.”



Penny Cox

Penny initially thought about donating eggs, but eventually decided to donate a kidney.



Clare Bolitho

Clare wanted to help her recipient to “restart” her life.



Natalia Aggiano

Natalia carries a picture of the kidney that she donated on her phone, and it’s also on her Facebook page.



Barbara Ryder

Barbara Ryder donated a kidney in 2007. She was the UK’s second altruistic donor.



Nicholas Crace

Nicholas, who is 83, donated a kidney in 2012. He is the UK’s oldest altruistic donor.



David Hemmings

David is a retired civil servant and magistrate who lives in Devon.



Kay Mason

Kay was the UK’s first altruistic kidney donor.  



Philippa James

Philippa and her daughter have both donated kidneys altruistically.