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Harrogate cyclist donates kidney to stranger

David Rang

Published at 6:02am 23rd September 2016. (Updated at 2:00pm 23rd September 2016)

NHS Blood and Transplant has revealed that 500 people in the UK have now donated a kidney to a stranger as a living donor in the 10 years since the law was changed to allow this.

Among the 500 generous donors is a man from Harrogate.

It's something known as non-directed (altruistic) living kidney donation.

David Rang, who is 64, from Harrogate, and a keen cyclist donated his kidney in 2012 in Portsmouth.

He has just finished cycling the Scottish North Coast 500 over six days.

David said: “There are currently more than 5000 people waiting for a kidney in the UK and around 300 people die each year in need of one.

"Once we are aware of our ability to transform another life, through only a little hardship to ourselves, why would anybody physically able not do that?

"Knowing I was making such a big difference to someone was extremely satisfying.”

Any healthy adult can volunteer to be assessed as a living donor and a kidney from a living donor is the very best treatment option for most patients with kidney diseases.

The volunteer donor goes through a thorough assessment over several months to ensure they are fit and healthy and that the risk to them is as low as possible.

If approved, they are matched with a suitable recipient from the transplant waiting list, or they can also enter into a sharing scheme which enables one non-directed donor to potentially 'trigger' up to three transplants.

Bob Wiggins Chair of charity Give a Kidney which raises awareness of non-directed kidney donation said:
“We're encouraging everyone to consider if you could share your spare. Many people still don't know that any healthy adult can volunteer as a living donor.

"As a result of people like David, many hundreds of lives have been changed for the better. Not only that, but together this group has already saved the NHS tens of millions of pounds over the cost of keeping the recipients of their kidneys on dialysis treatment.”

Living kidney donation has been taking place in the UK since the 1960s. It is a highly successful form of transplantation carried out at NHS hospitals and regulated by the Human Tissue Authority.

People wishing to consider giving the gift of a kidney to someone as a living donor can find out more at www.giveakidney.org #ShareYourSpare

To register your wish to donate your organs after your death please visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk

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