World Kidney Day celebrated around the globe on Thursday, 10 March, highlights the importance of looking after your kidneys and the impact of Chronic Kidney Disease. Marika Ferreira, 59 years old, donated a healthy kidney to someone whose own kidneys failed. Marika a resident from Paarl, tells her story on our #TransplantTuesday feature.

1. Which organ did you donate, and in what year?
I donated a kidney in 2019.

2. How long were your recipient on the waiting list for an organ?
3 years.

3. What made you decide to donate?
The recipient was 35 years old and his children were then 9 and 6 years old. They were so young and the father so sick for
many years.

4. Describe the emotions experienced when you were told that you are a suitable donor?
Firstly I could cry because I misunderstood the matching results that are “negative”. But as soon as I understood the
results I could scream with happiness and excitement. I only could say thank you, Lord.

5. What is life like now, after donating a kidney?
Physically my life is the same as before the nephrectomy.

6. What advice would you give people considering being a living donor?
If you are in a position to be a donor – put your name on the donor list and inform your family that you want to be a
donor. Being a donor should be discussed at home and in schools to inform everyone.

7. Why do you think there is a shortage of donors in South Africa?
A potential living donor is unaware that the process can be long and then they get tired and give up. To prevent this a
good information session will help.

8. Has the idea of an altruistic donor become an outdated expectation in modern society?
Unfortunately yes. Humans tend to donate organs to people they are familiar with rather than unknown people.

9. If you could describe donation in one word, what would it be?
A special gift.

10. Summarise the benefits of organ donation in one word.
A privilege.

11. Are there any reasons NOT to be an organ donor?
If you are healthy, there should be no reason not to be a living donor.



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