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Kidney Shaped Love

09/02/2017 12:59

Whether you're single or coupled up, Valentine's Day is looming. All things pink and fluffy and the annoying singing teddy bear that always seems to accompany the store-bought heart-shaped, glittering gold box of chocolates. I'm not a massive fan of 'big red' and tend to be the one (of many) that goes on about how love should be celebrated every day, not just a consumer driven farce.

Love it, or hate it, you can't escape it.

A new campaign launched by NHS Blood and Transplant is turning Valentine's Day upside down and calls on people across the UK to consider transforming lives by donating a kidney to someone in need.

Say, what?!

I know what you're thinking, "Why in the world would I consider giving away my kidney?"

It's not exactly your classic gift, but almost 5,000 people are waiting for a kidney in the UK. This is more than the total number of people waiting for any other organ combined!

Kidneys are the most common organ donated by a living person and about a third of all kidney transplants carried out in the UK are from living donors. A healthy person can lead a normal life with one working kidney.

The average length of time someone waits for a kidney transplant is over 2.5 years and for some ethnic groups and people for whom it is more difficult to find a compatible transplant the wait is much longer. Two and a half years may not seem like much time, but it's an eternity when you're attached to a dialysis machine for several hours a day, every day.

It's a tough decision, but one worth considering.

I moan about my husband not taking out the trash and how he leaves his clothes around everywhere, but could you imagine not having your loved one around? That's the harsh reality looming for so many and more than 250 patients died last year waiting for a kidney transplant, due to a shortage of people willing to donate after their death or during their lifetime.

The video - conceptualized by Aesop Agency, is humorous, yet light-hearted and comedian Alex Smith is just a laugh and a half as he strums:

Here we go again buying gifts
For partners, lovers, friends with benefits
A cheesy photo in a heart-shaped frame
Pink furry handcuffs engraved with their name
Red roses, teddy bears they're all so cliché
I've got a better gift to give this Valentine's Day
My feelings can no longer be denied
Here is something from deep inside
I'd give you my heart
But I'd have to be dead
And I'm still very much alive
So please have my kidney instead...

It takes community and generosity to become a living donor to help the almost 5,000 people that are waiting for a life-transforming kidney transplant.

This Valentine's Day and every day, we are truly "Stronger Together."

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