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Kiwi Kidney Sufferer To Do Major Charity Walk

Media Release – January 23

Kiwi Kidney Sufferer To Do Major Charity Walk


A Christchurch kidney sufferer Greg Ware is to walk 323km from Picton to Christchurch in March to raise kidney awareness.

The New Zealand Kidney Foundation is supporting the walk in the hope it will educate people about kidney illness and encourage more New Zealanders to become donors.

Ware wanted to do the exhausting trek to highlight the plight of kidney sufferers and for those needing donors. He is not seeking to raise money on the March 15-23 journey, only to raise kidney awareness.

Greg Ware was born with Allports’ disease kidney problem which has plagued nearly all his family.

His older brother Stephen died of kidney failure when he was 29, after finding out he had the disease, previously called Bright's disease, only six years earlier.

All the Ware family were tested at the time and all were found to have the same kidney disease except youngest brother Michael who has donated his kidney to older brother Garry. Most people are born with two kidneys.

The two Ware sisters have the disease and are not having children to prevent it being passed on.

``Our mother must have been the carrier of the disease but never knew about it until she was told,’’ Greg Ware said.

``If she had known she probably would not have taken the risk and had children,’’ the Christchurch mechanic said.

Greg Ware’s kidneys failed three years ago. He now carries bags (continuous peritoneal dialysis) and changes them four times a day – taking half an hour each time.

This gives him a better quality of life. He gets tried, sleeps a lot and has some pain.

He is now awaiting a kidney transplant but may have to wait up to five years.

Ware will need to change his bags four times a day during the walk and must average 40km a day to reach Christchurch by March 23.

He hopes people will walk with him some of the way. Black Caps cricketer and kidney sufferer Craig McMillan has offered him moral support.

About 60,000 New Zealanders have kidney problems and more than 3800 Kiwis are diagnosed with kidney failure for the first time each year. Diabetic make up about 45 percent of new cases.

Kidney dialysis costs between $30,000 and $60,000 for each patient. In 2001 there were 106 kidney transplants – 31 from live donors.

Ends

Media advisory: for interviews with Greg Ware, photo or camera shoot please contact New Zealand Kidney Foundation director Guy Johnson on freephone 0800 427 427 or 03 379 1594 or Kip Brook, Word of Mouth Media NZ 03 374 5426



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