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Kudz enjoys university lecturer career success thanks to his kidney donor

27 March 2021

A Sunderland man hopes to inspire people to consider organ donation after a kidney transplant helped him follow his dream of being a university lecturer.

Kudz Munongi was diagnosed with kidney disease at the age of 22 and waited for nearly five years on dialysis to have a kidney transplant.

Kudz Munongi is a community ambassador for Kidney Research UK.JPG b.JPGc

Now 39 and a senior lecturer in finance and accounting at Sunderland University, Kudz is among a group of newly appointed Kidney Research UK community ambassadors who plan to support others and raise awareness.

Despite recently being back on dialysis, Kudz is able to reflect on the positives from his kidney journey so far.

Temporarily went blind

“It would have been impossible to survive this long and lead a happy life without the kidney transplant, so I want to make people aware of how much organ donations mean to people like me,” he said

Kudz temporarily lost his eyesight before physicians quickly realised it was kidney failure. He had excessive fluid retention and had to be put on dialysis as a matter of urgency.

“I had no idea what kidney disease or dialysis was, past the human body anatomy taught in school classes.

“Fast-forward after nearly five years on dialysis I received a transplant in April 2008. This was so critical to my aspirations to become a maths teacher and I quickly went to university following transplantation.

“I achieved my dream, and I am now a senior university lecturer in accounting and finance."

“Being able to pursue my passions, to educate, and inspire kids and adults – I don’t think this could have happened without my kidney donor.

Daily challenges

“Dialysis gave me a better quality of life and increased well-being, but to live with kidney disease presented daily challenges.

“Being on dialysis for four hours, three days a week, at times was not easy. Typical challenges included fatigue, itching, sleep problems, anaemia, depression, blood pressure and complications with the surgery needed for dialysis.”

Kudz is inspired to support the work of Kidney Research UK work as he says: “Research continues to translate into tangible benefits for patients.”

Sadly, he has been back on dialysis since December last year which makes his research dream even more important – finding an improved outlook for future kidney patients.

“Dialysis can be gruelling. If your regular dialysis sessions can be shorter, it would improve quality of life,” he said.

“I know only too well that there is currently no cure for kidney disease and transplants sadly don’t last forever.

"I hope that by being a community ambassador I can raise awareness and also encourage people in our area to get involved in fundraising for vital research.”

Kudz Munongi is a community ambassador for Kidney Research UK

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