During organ donation week, we share a special story from our trustee Rebecca Murphy-Peers, whose Mum Geraldine leaves an incredible legacy.
Here Rebecca tells us how she got involved with PKD Charity:
“My family stumbled across the PKD Charity after our Mum Geraldine was sadly taken from us in 2002.
Our story is quite typical of most people who I speak to through the charity, in that the renal deterioration started in my Mums later 40s after many years of assessment and review at the renal clinic at our local hospital. We were fortunate that there was a genetics department which was quite active at the hospital so myself and my siblings were quite educated about PKD but it was always in the background.
After a period of quite difficult dialysis Mum was given the most wonderful gift after she received a cadaveric donor in 1987. Those bonus years were wonderful, and we will forever be grateful to the family who allowed that kidney to be used to save someone else’s life!
When Mum passed away we were absolutely devastated. She was only 51 and still had so much to see and do but we soon learned that her legacy lived on with those that she left behind. Instead of mourning we decided we would do something positive and try to both raise money and awareness of the condition through fundraising which would benefit the PKD Charity.
My Mum and Dad were part of a big community within construction and plant hire, so we reached out to these friends and colleagues and started the ‘Geraldine Murphy Irish Dinner Dance’! This event, always held near St Patricks Day, was a wonderful black-tie event full of fun and laughter. We always had a big auction at the end of the night and the event was successful in both raising money and awareness.
When we contacted the PKD charity with our first donation they were overwhelmed. At this time, the PKD charity was very new and the money we were raising was considerable. As a result, the family were kindly asked if they would like to select someone to come on board as a trustee so that we had some say in how the money we had raised was spent. This was a great honour, and I subsequently became a trustee of the PKD Charity.
Since joining the charity 18 years ago, I have seen so many amazing developments and met many exceptional people who have kindly volunteered and helped the charity to achieve its aims and charitable objectives. I myself have suffered from kidney failure and been fortunate enough to receive a transplant so I have been both a user of the charity’s support arm as well as a trustee. The Charity is now firmly established and is the go-to place for any patient with PKD or any person who is affected by or supporting a person with PKD. I hope that I have the opportunity over the next 18 years to see the charity continue to grow from strength to strength.”
Rebecca is so grateful for those who continue to support PKD Charity in memory of her Mum.
Thank you so, so much to Rebecca and her family for their amazing support in memory of Geraldine. It is an absolute honour to share Rebecca’s story, and to have a trustee like her on the PKD Charity board. Geraldine’s inspirational legacy ensures PKD Charity continues to support anyone affected by PKD whenever and however they need us, and fund vital research into finding treatments and a cure for polycystic kidney disease.