Tuesday, September 1, 2009

GOL shoot 11 - Leroy

Leroy is an altruistic donor which means that he agreed to donate his kidney to a complete stranger. He has never met the recipient, and it's unlikely that he ever will - he literally just wanted to help somebody and his selfless act will have totally changed a person's life.

The first time I spoke to Leroy I asked him why he decided to be an altruistic donor and he told me that his motivation for going ahead was to honour the memory of his younger brother Daniel who died of leukemia aged 7 in 1977. He said that he had thought about donating his kidney for a whole but it was not until 2006 when the law was changed allowing altruistic donors to come forward that he could go ahead.

After contacting the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton all the necessary tests were arranged and Leroy donated his left kidney in February 2007 at St George's Hospital in London. His family weren't too keen at first but after a while they understood why he wanted to go ahead and help someone less fortunate than himself.

I really enjoyed meeting Leroy - he truly is an amazing person and it was an honour to chat to him about his experiences. Altruistic donors are incredibly rare and it was lovely to meet him. Leroy showed me a photograph of him and his younger brother Daniel alongside their older brother and whilst Leroy looked at the photo I photographed him. Loosing a little brother is something that I don't think anyone really gets over but I'm sure Daniel would be incredibly proud of Leroy if he was around today.


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