Lloyd Esson and brother Ray

Article by Ellis Whitehouse: Two men who donated a kidney to save their brothers’ lives will be honoured at a charity dinner. Billericay’s Lloyd Esson selflessly donated the organ to his brother, Ray Esson, who was suffering from polycystic disease.

He will now be honoured at a glittering appreciation dinner for the UK’s black living donors and the sacrifices they have made for their loved ones, organised by the charity Gift of Living Donation (Gold).

The organisation’s mission is to increase awareness of organ donation, and living donation in particular, and will hold the event at the Holiday Inn, in Bloomsbury, on May 18. Mr Esson said:

“I donated my kidney to my brother because he had what the doctor referred to as polycystic disease of the kidney which meant his kidney would fail and he would need dialysis, transplant or a family donor. I wanted to give my brother a new lease of life, so he asked me to be his donor. I said yes, no questions asked. He is happy and healthy and I’m pleased to have done the deed. It’s a great honour to be recognised for this and I’m looking forward to the ceremony.”

Canvey man David Richards also donated a kidney to his brother, Christopher. Mr Richards said:

“I donated my kidney to my younger boy as his stopped functioning. It was a no-brainer on my part and I’m happy to see him living a full life again.”

Dela Idowu, Gold founder, said:

“It’s an opportunity to bring together black living donors in the UK and recognise and celebrate their acts of selfless kindness. It’s the first of its kind event in the UK where donors and recipients can connect, share stories, positive insights and truly wonderful outcomes and feel part of a generous altruistic community.”

Lisa Burnapp, Lead Nurse of Living Donation, at NHS Blood Transplant, said:

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the success of living donation and the difference it makes to people’s lives. Seeing is believing. This appreciation dinner is a fantastic opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has donated but also to inspire others who may wish to consider donating a kidney.”

The number of living organ donors from the black community is declining, mirroring the trend across all ethnicities.

Last year, just 17 black people donated a kidney as a living donor, less than half the figure of five years earlier.

In contrast there are around 632 black people waiting for a transplant with the vast majority of those in need of a kidney.

Sadly, last year 31 patients from black backgrounds died waiting for a transplant.

The event aims to raise awareness of organ donation in the black community and the need for more black donors.

Go to www.giftoflivingdonation.co.uk.

Article by The Echo

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