You may not expect kidney disease to happen to you but
statistics show that people can lose up to 90 percent of their kidney function
before experiencing any symptoms and within a few days can find they are on
dialysis. This is what happened to Harry Efthimiadis, 49, from Clarinda when he
was diagnosed 10 years ago. Yet to his fortune, Leon Carver, a teammate from his
previous cricket club, Knox Chiefs offered him a kidney out of the blue.
Efthimiadis said that he was surprised because, “we never really kept in touch
because to be honest, I was a bit of a bastard.. so I said don’t be stupid.”
After five years of offering and the development of a strong friendship,
Efthimiadis finally accepted his best friend’s offer and underwent a transplant
last November. Mr Efthimiadis now works at the Monash Medical Centre as an
orderly so that he can care for patients of dialysis and the two continue to
remain the best of friends.
National Kidney Week began yesterday and Kidney
Health Australia launched a national advertising campaign to create awareness
that one in three Australians is at increased risk of Chronic Kidney Disease.
Diabetes, a family history of kidney disease, being over the age of 50, smokers
and especially those with obesity and high blood pressure are at higher risk of
the disease, which is why the association suggests regular blood pressure checks
and losing excess weight through healthy eating if obese. Kidney Health
Australia will also be conducting free blood pressure checks across Australia as
part of its Measure Up campaign, see www.kidney.org.au for