Finding new ways to remember loved ones
Bhavesh Bavisi has lived with kidney problems due to diabetes since shortly after he lost his wife, Jesika. He and his daughter Francesca wanted to mark the 10th anniversary since she passed away in March 2013.
They organised a concert with live music and prayers in her memory. Having spent several years on dialysis and undergone two transplants, Bhavesh was keen to raise money for Kidney Research UK. Over 100 guests attended and raised over £400.
“My wife passed away in 2013,” Bhavesh said. “The year after I was told my kidney was damaged due to diabetes and at the eleventh hour I was told I needed to go on dialysis asap. So I was on dialysis for seven or eight years. It wasn’t easy – you get cramps and all sorts.”
He had his first transplant in 2018 which unfortunately failed overnight so the kidney had to be removed and he suffered from thrombosis. He was relieved to get a second transplant in 2021, although it’s not been straightforward since.
“That kidney is working at the moment,” he said. “I’ve got issues with it but it’s still working.”
A concert in memory
Bhavesh felt he had to come up with a different approach to raise money for Kidney Research UK and wanted to do something significant in his wife’s memory too.
“Mentally and physically, I can’t do anything like a marathon, or a walk, so I thought how can I do this?” he explained. “So we raised the money through the function – putting out the charity envelopes on everyone’s chairs and, because not everyone carried cash these days. And afterwards we shared our JustGiving link through our Whatsapp group.”
Helping to raise awareness
Bhavesh is also a volunteer for NHS Blood and Transplant. He gives up his time to work as a living donor facilitator for the (Vanik Council) community, spreading the word about the benefits of live donation from family and friends.
“My job is to go to the hospitals where people are at the stage where they are about to start dialysis. Then we talk to patients in our language and say, ‘look there is another way’ and we ask if we can talk to their friends and family, parents, siblings, whoever, about organ donation because live donation is a quicker route rather than being on dialysis and waiting for a match from a deceased donor. Being Asian it’s very difficult to get a kidney with the right blood type and tissue match.”
Bhavesh clearly doesn’t let his kidney disease get in the way of raising money and essential awareness, and for that we’re very grateful.
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