Today we share 32 year old Gerhard van Tonder from Potchefstroom’s journey!
1. When were you diagnosed with organ failure and which organ are you waiting for?
I was diagnosed 3 years ago with Stage 5 kidney failure, waiting on a kidney.
2. How does your current health affect your lifestyle?
You’re constantly tired and don’t have enough energy to get through the day. Your body changes, doing 4 hours of dialysis 3 days a week can sometimes get to you, you don’t see your friends and family that often.
3. How long have you been on the waiting list?
I have been on the list for a year, then we decided that myself and my mother should test to see if we are a match. The test came back we were not compatible, that’s when my Dad stepped in and said he also would like to be tested. A few days later the transplant co-ordinator gave me a call with the good news that my dad was a match and the rest of the work-up testing could be done. We immediately started making appointments for the tests to be done. We only have 1 test left to do then we went into a national lock down and everything was put on hold.
4. What are you most excited for after your transplant?
To live normally, having energy to do things I have done before my kidney failure. Spending more time with friends and family and of course playing more golf.
5. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
There is a huge lack of education and awareness on organ transplants in South Africa. People are scared to take a step to register as a donor.
6. What is the biggest stigma / myth you have heard about organ donation?
There is this idea that your organs cannot be directed to a loved one and is taken for the top listed candidate on the donation list.