Dale Robinson was just 22 when his life came crashing down.
He was beginning to live the life of his dreams, achieving his ambitions, working all over the world, when he suddenly became very ill. Dale has IgA nephropathy. It’s a life-threatening kidney disease that turns his body’s immune system against itself.
Our body’s immune system jumps into action whenever we get an infection of some kind. Antibodies are released and restore health to the body. For Dale, with IgA nephropathy, his antibodies get confused about which cells are the enemies.
IgA nephropathy causes antibodies to target the kidneys and stops them doing their job properly causing blood cells and protein to pass through the kidneys into the urine. This causes even more damage to the kidney. As the body tries to repair the kidneys, it forms scar tissue. A heavily scarred kidney does an even worse job of filtering out the toxins in our blood.
Dale is one of the lucky ones having received a kidney transplant, but he knows that a transplant is not a cure. He knows that one day his transplant will fail. Transplants need to last for life. Currently they could last just 15 seconds or 15 years. No-one knows how lucky they’ll be. Patients shouldn’t have to go through this, luck shouldn’t come into it.
That’s why we are determined to transform treatments to help people like Dale.
Why we need your help.
- Imagine needing to go to hospital for four-hour dialysis sessions, three times a week, so a machine can keep you alive.
- Or being told your transplant has failed a week after the operation. A transplant you’ve waited years for.
- We don’t want patients to still be going through this in 20 years’ time.
- We must transform treatments and the change must start now.
In the UK, 5 people die every week waiting for a kidney transplant.
- 20 people develop kidney failure in the UK every day and need dialysis or a transplant to stay alive.
- Kidney disease costs the NHS £1.45bn a year, and kills more people than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined.
- Kidney research is drastically underfunded compared to other major diseases.
“I’m under no illusion I am fixed. A transplant is just a plaster over a problem.”
Dale Robinson, IgA nephropathy
Kudz Munongi, 39
Kudz was a success story. After having dialysis for five years, he got a successful transplant. It lasted for 13 years and he followed his dream to become a university lecturer. But the transplant wasn’t for life. It failed. He’s now back at square one on dialysis. Help us make transplants last forever. Kudz wants his life back.
Paula Carberry, 52
Paula is three years into nightly dialysis at home. Three years into the wait for a transplant. Doctors say Paula will only have a 20% chance of a match if her wait stretches to five years. Her high antibody levels mean it’s more likely to fail. Research could improve these chances. Let’s transform treatments. Your contribution to research is vital for Paula.
Paul Cookson, 43
Paul is relying on a research lifeline. After four transplant rejections and 20 years on dialysis, he’s been told the chance of another transplant is slim. Unless treatments improve. Research could find a way to perform successful transplants on people like Paul. This is the kind of project we need to fund. And we need your help. Paul shouldn’t have to go through this.
What we can do together.
- We want transplants to last longer. Patients don’t need the worry of wondering if or when theirs will fail. They should be for life.
- We want to reduce the burden of treatment and improve patients’ quality of life. Treatments are incredibly disruptive and can make people feel very unwell. But this can be improved through research into better medical solutions.
- We want everyone to have equal access to treatments and care. 32% of people on the waiting list for a kidney transplant are from minority ethnic backgrounds. This isn’t good enough.
Patients deserve better.
Patients deserve better. Better treatments. Better futures. With your help, we can get there sooner and smash our £3 million target. Let’s transform treatments, starting today.
Your donations will go to crucial research into new and better treatments for kidney disease.
As part of the ADMIRE study ‘Assessing Donor kidneys and Monitoring Transplant REcipients’, Dr Maria Kaisar and her team at the University of Oxford will analyse blood samples from donors to develop a mathematical model to predict how well a donor kidney will function after transplant.
The Oxford team, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Nottingham and University College London, will also develop MRI scanning methods to assess donor organs before and after transplant. This study could help doctors accurately assess kidneys, transplant only the best and identify suitable kidneys from donors previously deemed too high risk.
Let's transform treatments.
You have the power to help. Together we can make a difference to patients’ lives.