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Survivor to advocate

Survivor to advocate

Mrs Janet Harris, Kapunda, has become a strong advocate for kidney disease awareness and organ donation in the region after surviving a renal disease herself.

She was diagnosed with Glomeronephritis in 1991 but began treatment when both her kidneys health dropped rapidly in 2012 and commenced dialysis to keep her body functioning.

It also began the surgeries, continuous tests and treatments. At one point, Janet was told she would not be able to have a transplant due to all of her previous surgeries.

Luckily, she was given the go ahead to go on the transplant list. Due to Janet’s experience receiving a kidney from a deceased stranger, she understands first-hand how important it is for people to be organ donors.

“What good is it to you once you pass away when you can be saving lives of other people? Even if you are a live donor, you can live a life with one kidney,” said Janet.

“The whole trip is emotional. You’re high, you’re low. You are all over the place… It’s a very emotional thing, that’s why it is important to me.

“People have to realise how much support is needed to get through this… Without family and good friends, it would be so hard. I couldn’t imagine going through it without the people I have around me.”

Janet was concerned that there is not a lot of information about renal problems even though it’s quite common.

She said that other medical issues such as breast cancer, motor neurone disease and brain cancer are brought to the attention of the public because there are famous figures  advocating awareness, but the same can not be said for renal diseases.

 For the full story see this week’s edition of The Leader.