Kidney Wales have announced a record total of over £123,000 raised by supporters across Wales for the Walk for Life 2011.

Hundreds of patients, fundraisers and supporters attended the Kidney Wales Gala Dinner, held at Cardiff City Hall where the announcement was made.

The evening was led by BBC Wales Today and Good Evening Wales presenter, Sian Lloyd who has close connections with the charity after her brother received a life changing kidney transplant in his youth. Leading politicians from across Wales were also present along with Kidney Wales patron, Max Boyce.

Having smashed last year’s total of £103,000, Kidney Wales aim to continue to support kidney patients and their families across Wales including the Kidney Wales Children’s Centre at UHW, Cardiff as well as investing in life saving research into kidney disease.

Max Boyce Patron said:

“Fundraisers in communities across Wales have pulled out all the stops to raise an astounding amount of money so that Kidney Wales can continue to support those in need. It was a great event with personal stories, some touched with sadness but many of hope and success from people who had received a transplant.”

Chairman, Roy J Thomas said:

“The Kidney Wales Gala Dinner is a yearly highlight for our charity, the supporters and the patients. With cheques for thousands of pounds being presented by fundraisers throughout the evening, we are truly grateful to our supporters from North to South Wales for once again raising the bar and smashing our fundraising targets.”

NOTES

Picture attached: Max Boyce, Sian Lloyd, Roy J Thomas with kidney patient Zowiann Flood and her cousin Angharad Eleri Lloyd.

ABOUT THE KIDNEY WALES FOUNDATION

Established in 1967, Kidney Wales has had over forty years of success in supporting and working with kidney patients in Wales. During this time the charity has supported many aspects of kidney patient care in Wales including transplantation, dialysis, research and patient welfare. Kidney Wales played a major role in getting an organ donor card attached to driving licences in the UK and was instrumental in setting up Lifeline Wales – a computer register of people willing to be organ donors in the event of their death.

In 2007 Kidney Wales launched the ‘People Like Us’ campaign, which put renal patients centre stage as they articulated their vision on how Wales could become a world class provider of renal services . With over 490 people waiting for a transplant in Wales, a chronic shortage of organs and increasing demand, People Like Us had three key suggestions for how to save lives:

• delivering a new dedicated transplant unit for Wales;
• working with partners to deliver a substantial increase in donors; and
• introducing legislation in Wales for Soft Opt Out / Presumed Consent.

All three of these objectives have been met with positive responses from the Welsh Assembly Government and National Assembly for Wales.

The Kidney Wales Foundation also organises the organ donation campaign in Wales; working with six other charities and the British Medical Association to encourage more people to join the organ donor register.
www.donatewales.org

Kidney Wales Foundation has been campaigning for over four years for a system of Soft Opt Out to be implemented in Wales.

Under the Kidney Wales favoured system of Soft Opt Out, Welsh residents are presumed to be organ donors on death unless:

They have joined an opt out register
They cannot be identified
The person’s place of residence cannot be identified
The wishes of the deceased can be proven to be contrary after relatives have been contacted
Immediate relatives object.
Wales would wish to follow the example of Belgium where the “soft” opt-out system was introduced in 1986. Just 2% of the population has opted out of organ donation – and the national rate of organ donation rose by 55% within five years.

The latest figures show that in Belgium there were 291 deceased organ donors in 2007 compared to only 51 in Wales – Belgium has one of the highest rates of donors per million people in the world.
Kidney Wales have announced a record total of over