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News from the Kidney Services at Guy's and King's

Raising awareness of living kidney donation in the African Caribbean Community

Dela Idowu, director of Living Donation

Dela Idowu, director of Living Donation

Dela Idowu (pictured) is director of Living Donation, a community interest company and a committee member of the Guy's and St Thomas' Kidney Patients' Association.

Last year Dela wrote a book entitled "More Than a Match" which narrates a moving account of her family's experience as potential living kidney donors. The book gives people an understanding of the living kidney donor assessment process in a simple and informal style.

Dela has now produced a short film: "We Are Family", it is an inspirational and thought provoking story about the Williams, an African Caribbean family struggling to come to terms with one of their own recently diagnosed with kidney failure and who needs a transplant. The film captures their challenges and fears as they embark on an emotional roller coaster to overcome this real life situation affecting many black families today. However, the most powerful element of the film is not a portrait of a family in crisis but a wonderful message of love and a genuine solution.

Although the film illustrates black family life it is relevant to people from all backgrounds. It is a powerful resource that can encourage more kidney patients to ask their family and friends for support. More importantly it can succeed in encouraging relatives and close friends to talk about a subject that is unfamiliar.

Dela says: "People from my community would often ask me why I would even consider being a living donor! I simply explained that my brother needed a kidney and since I could live a normal life with only one kidney, it was a 'no-brainer' to give him the other one so that he could have a better quality of life. This was a unique opportunity for me to raise awareness of living kidney donation. I choose to use film, as its visual form can give people a different perspective and it's a great way to engage people. There is clear evidence that quality of life improves following a transplant in comparison with dialysis. I hope by using my experience it will change the way people think about organ donation in the African Caribbean community leading to an increase in the number of transplants for black kidney patients."

To puchase a copy of the film email: info@giftoflivingdonation.co.uk.