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Danny and Edna A mothers gift to her son

By Elif

Danny was two years old when he was diagnosed with kidney disease. Doctors gave him 11 months to live. Parents Ashley and Edna refused to accept this and looked for options to give Danny a future.

So started three decades of struggle. Dialysis started at the age of seven. At nine and a half Danny received his first kidney transplant and could be 'one of the kids'.

Danny's transplanted kidney failed when he was 16 - —a difficult time for a normal teenager. Danny's prime teenage years included struggles with depression and difficulties in connecting with people.

At 23 Danny received a second kidney transplant and he pursued a career in IT. Eight years on, aged 31, Danny started dialysis again. Danny made the most of the challenge. He was fitter than ever with Latin dancing and dialysis six times a week.

As the second kidney started failing Danny's mum Edna started to detoxify hoping to give her son a healthy kidney. Getting another mother's perspective helped Danny to gratefully accept his mother's wishes and Danny received his mother's kidney.

It didn't all go smoothly. Danny's lungs collapsed and he was in ICU for four days, but he bounced back and life blossomed.

Today Danny has four kidneys, the functioning one is named Shalah - —its namesake a holy 16th century rabbi. Following the transplant Danny embarked on a start up and graduated from two top master's programs.

Edna aged 57 pursed peace in the Middle East and the global environment through her bicycle rides. In 2010 she completed a seven week, 4,000 km bike ride. Edna says, 'If you look after yourself, life is even better after donating, you appreciate life more.'

I met Danny the year after the transplant and we are now married. Danny says, 'experience tells me a normal life is how you define it. Life on dialysis wasn't terrible but it was limited. I aspire to succeed because I want to make something of my life, and also because a lot of effort by a lot of people has been put in to keep me alive. My success is a way of repaying that effort.'

Elif