Cancer survivor’s plea is answered from across world

A CANCER survivor who appealed on Facebook for a new kidney has amazed transplant chiefs by receiving more than 100 offers from around the world.

Daniel Dowie
has been innundated with offers of a new kidney
Daniel Dowie has been innundated with offers of a new kidney

Daniel Dowie needs dialysis three times a week because the only kidney he was born with had to be removed as a result of kidney cancer treatment two years ago.

Desperate for help, the 45-year-old from Leith appealed for donors on Facebook. Just three weeks later he has received 103 offers from as far afield as Australia and New York.

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Daniel said that transplant experts at NHS Lothian had “never seen this kind of response” to a kidney appeal before. He said health officials convened a special meeting to discuss how best to handle the remarkable global response to Daniel’s plight.

A questionnaire has been sent to all applicants, and Daniel must now wait to hear if he has a match. He has been told that, if necessary, a donor will be flown in from the other side of the world for the operation.

Since losing his kidney to cancer, Daniel survives by having three gruelling kidney dialysis sessions a week, leaving him exhausted and unable to live life to the full.

Three weeks ago, he decided to put out an appeal on Facebook after thinking about it for a year-and-a-half.

Daniel, a hair stylist at Cheynes, says he has been blown away by the “amazing” number of people who offered up their vital organ to give him a better life.

He said: “I had never used social media before but my partner Dan suggested I set up a Facebook page.

“I was worried if it was ethically the right thing to do and that people might get annoyed, but the NHS have been great and supported me all the way since I put it out on Facebook.

“So far I’ve had 103 responses – people from Scotland, New York, Germany, Cyprus and Australia.

“The process has now started and all of those people, including about 70 from Scotland, have been sent a medical questionnaire which has to be returned by May 21.

“After that, the NHS will sift through them all and decide who they are going to take for testing. I had a call from the transplant co-ordinator who told me they had never seen this kind of response before. They had to set up a meeting because they had so many applications.”

Daniel is now urging people in a similar situation to consider following in his footsteps.

“I would without a doubt tell people to do the same thing – you never know how far these things can reach,” he said.

“My life has been put on hold and I just want to live my life and get back to normal.

“I’ve got so many things I still want to do. I don’t want to spend my life in hospital on a machine. I feel very optimistic now. As far as I’m concerned I’m getting a new kidney and that’s all there is to it.”