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Kidney charity benefits from visionary donation

A Sheffield kidney charity has benefitted from a fund raising initiative by a local family optometrist.

Clients and staff at Alex Gage’s practices at Woodseats and Crosspool were   inspired to raise money for SAKA(Sheffield Area Kidney Association) after Cara Smith, manager at the Woodseats practice, had a kidney transplant in 2009 and were delighted to hand over a cheque for £510 to SAKA Treasurer Ken Tupling recently.

Alex Gage and Cara Smith with Ken Tupling from SAKA

Of the initiative, Alex Gage said; “Cara has been with me for 13 years and is a vital member of our team.  Supporting SAKA is our way of thanking them for the support that they have given Cara over the years.  We’re delighted to say that, despite all the odds, Cara is expecting her first child and will go on maternity leave at the end of February. We have nick-named her ‘Cara 5 kidneys’ as she has two of her own, one from her husband and two for the baby!”

Cara was diagnosed with chronic renal disease when she was 13 years old.  Her kidney function deteriorated slowly but at the end of 2008 Cara was advised that she would need to go on dialysis or have a transplant. Both Cara’s husband Carl & brother Kristian went for the initial tests and both proved to be a match but her husband selflessly insisted it be him. Cara explained what happened next; “In June 2009 we went in for the operation. They removed Carl’s kidney first and then transplanted it into me and hey presto it worked first time, but I never expected to be able to have children, so it’s doubly amazing!”

Ken Tupling was delighted to receive the donation and said that the money would be used to fund valuable research; “At SAKA we have a policy of using our money as best we can for the greater benefit of all kidney patients, whether they are members or not. We feel that one of the ways we can do this is by helping the research into kidney related diseases at the Sheffield Kidney Institute Research (SKI). Without research there is never going to be a cure for the illness from which most of us suffer.”

SAKA was formed in 1976, the year that Cara was born, to help kidney patients and their families cope with kidney failure and to help fund research into kidney disease. If you would like to support SAKA, please visit www.saka.org.uk or call Treasurer Ken Tupling on             01709 371 949      .

For more information about Alex Gage or to book an appointment, please contact Alex Gage at 857 Chesterfield Road, Woodseats on 0114 274 8582 or at 48 Sandygate Road Crosspool on 0114 266 7066.