Thursday, May 27, 2010
Kidney Kids--Providing dialysis machines and treatment for children--Don't belittle the humble ring pull Stewart Sloan*
There are branches of Kidney Kids in many countries of the world.
The concept behind this not for profit organisation is to provide vitally needed medical support for children suffering renal failure; they also, perhaps equally importantly, arrange for emotional support and information for their parents by parents who have been through it themselves. This is done through counseling, educational materials and social events.
No one can understand the commitment in both time and money involved in seeking treatment and the accompanying exhaustion if they have not experienced the grief of having a close relative, whether a child or an adult, suffer renal failure.
Caregiver burnout is a real threat. Dialysis is required up to three times a week and must, under no circumstances, be missed. This places tremendous pressure on the parents and relatives of patients. A helping hand to take the patient for treatment on just one of these days each week is more of a blessing than many of us would realise.
In Hong Kong a locally based businessman has taken an active role in providing assistance to one of the Kidney Kids branches, Kidney Kids of New Zealand.
Colin Barlow, a New Zealander himself, is a dental technician by trade and several years ago on a visit to his home country came into contact with Paul Norfolk, the Chief Executive of Kidney Kids of NZ Inc. Colin learned that one way to take an active part in assisting was to collect ring pulls from soft drink (and beer) cans (Kan Tabs). These are sent to New Zealand where they are sold for scrap and melted down and the money received goes to the purchase of dialysis machines and the cost of treatment. (In a local event in New Zealand a load of aluminium ring pulls and screw caps weighing 1,369 kgs brought in NZ$ 2,464). Colin put the word out to his friends and the ring pulls started pouring in from individuals and restaurants and bars. Now Colin, with the assistance of Air New Zealand sends packets of up to 20 kgs back to New Zealand on a regular bas is.
Lots of little bags of ring pulls add up to a big box when donated regularly. To donate ring pulls in Hong Kong please contact Stewart at firstname.lastname@example.org or Colin at email@example.com. Elsewhere please refer to the websites below:
*Stewart's wife Quirina died in December last year after a five year battle with renal failure.
** To see the latest issue of this News Letter please see: http://newsletters.ahrchk.net/hrc/docs/AHRC-ART-053-2010.pdf