I was 18 years old when I was told I had renal failure. Although I had never heard of it before it did not take me long to experience it.
I was putting on weight so I went to Weight Watchers. I stuck to the diet but every week my weight was going up not down. My weight rose to 72kg and my legs looked like trunks of a tree. I went to see a doctor and another for a second opinion and was put straight onto dialysis.
Dad and I went to visit Mum in hospital on my birthday in 1986. She was upset because due to a previous illness she was unable to donate one of her kidneys. 'Don't worry Mum, it will happen', we said.
Exactly one week later the call came. I was told it was not the best match so I could say no! Are you crazy?
The kidney took a long time to work. I was allowed a day out, so I went home to a stuffed roast chicken - my favourite. When I was told my kidney was working properly I was sure it was due to Mum's cooking.
I named my kidney 'Kingsley' as dad had wanted a Kingsley in the family. I travelled, had a full time job, danced all night with my friends and more.
Kingsley lasted 18 years and I eventually went back on dialysis. It was harder to accept this time.
Three years later while shopping with Mum I received the call and this time it was a perfect match.
It is in giving that we receive.