Barbara's story

Barbara's story

I was 27 when I received this gift and I have had 32 extra years of quality life

I was 16 when I found out I had been born with one kidney. In 1971 I became the first person to have a baby while on dialysis. Unfortunately Andrew only lived a few hours. Lisa came in 1973 and again only lived a few hours. I went along without dialysis until 1979 when my kidney gave up and I had a shunt put in. On Monday I awoke and went off to begin home training at Rachel Foster Hospital. Tuesday I was off again. I came home by myself on the train a complete wreck. I fell into my hubby's arms and cried and cried, 'I CAN'T DO THIS'. That night I just kept begging God and saying, 'I CAN'T DO THIS'.

Wednesday I was on my day off training. I was on my own just out of bed when the phone rang. The voice on the phone said I was needed at the hospital. 'But it's my day off', I cried. 'We have a kidney for you, get in here as soon as possible. The surgeon is picking it up now.'

That was 32 years ago and as they say THE REST IS HISTORY!

Since then I have competed in three World Transplant Games and five National Games including the inaugural one in Melbourne in 1988 for a total of 17 medals. I am not a sporty person and never have been but a person's sacrifice has given me the greatest gift and I want the world to see what can be achieved through donation. I was 27 when I received this gift and I have had 32 extra years of quality life. Yes there have been ups and downs but that's life anyway.