Organ recipients raise awareness through charity match
LUKE Rose's mother has given him the gift of life... twice.
Nine years ago the Rockhampton man was donated a kidney by his loving mum after struggling with kidney issues as a child.
Luke said the kidney damage had developed from severe reflux, causing him to spend much of his youth in and out of hospital.
"By 2006, I had to start dialysis and I had to do that for 13 months," he said.
"Obviously you have your ups and downs but at the moment it is pretty good.
"The transplant was life changing...after being hooked to a machine three times a week for four to five hours, it's definitely like getting your life back."
Over the weekend the 36-year-old played in a charity match at Cromer Park before the Manly United FC first-grade game, in a team composed entirely of players whose lives have been saved by organ donation.
Forever the soccer enthusiast, Luke said he was thrilled to play and even more excited to raise awareness for organ donation.
"When I was in my early twenties I still pretended to be a normal person, but it hit me in my mid to late twenties," he said.
"I was lucky... but it is important to get the message out.
"There are over 1500 people at most times waiting for a transplant so anything we can do as recipients to get the word out is good.
"It is really just about people making their intentions known to their family members, because you never know what can happen."
The teams played for the Doujon Zammit Shield, named for a young man whose family donated his heart to a Greek Australian man after he died in Greece.
Though the Transplant Australia Football Club lost 1-0, the teams were reportedly evenly matched and the match was highly competitive and played in a great spirit.
World Kidney Day
Celebrated on March 10, WKD is a global awareness campaign aimed at raising the awareness about preventative behaviours, risk factors and how to live with kidney disease.
2016 was WKD's 11th campaign year
Visit worldkidneyday.org for more information