Our family’s year shows research is needed more than ever
My daughter Mimi and I have been on the most difficult journey any family can experience. Over a year ago we lost Steve – my husband, Mimi’s dad.
Steve had had two kidney transplants in the course of his life. The first had freed him from the chains of dialysis as a teenager and lasted over 30 years.
Looking at Steve, you’d never know he’d been so ill in his childhood. He was very active. He’d always be helping friends out. He was the go-to person for everyone. He loved the simple things in life, the colour of a flower, the big blue sky. He was an amazing, gentle person who was so grateful to be alive.
But even Steve’s miracle kidney couldn’t last forever. The time came when he had to go onto dialysis again. It was a real slog, which went on for two years. Then hope lifted again when he received another transplant in 2019. The operation and recovery went well, we had Steve back again.
But, among the many medications that Steve had to take every day was an anti-rejection medication which comes with an increased risk of cancer. He would regularly have lumps removed from his back. At the end of 2021 the lumps spread and eventually he had cancer in his brain. By May 2022, there was nothing more the doctors could do.
It’s been very, very difficult losing Steve, having fought alongside him for so long. It’s something we’ll probably never recover from.
I spoke about our story when I was asked to host the charity’s inaugural Andy Cole Fund Gala Dinner. It was the first time I’d put on any lippy since we’d lost Steve, but I knew I was doing it for the right reasons.
Stories are what I do for a living and I know they have the power to change lives. This impact report is very much Kidney Research UK’s story of the past year. The breakthroughs and progress the charity has made gave Steve hope and continue to give me hope. It really is inspiring. And none of it would be possible without your support.
Arts editor, ITV News
Annual report 2022-23
Read more from our annual report to find out how we're investing in research, awareness, and education to accelerate growth that will bring benefit to patients both now and in the future.