RUSSELL Macmillan, a registered blind 52-year-old from Glasgow, is celebrating the curing of his diabetes after 34 years of injections thanks to a lifesaving pancreas and kidney transplant he received in January 2007 – and he is now appealing for more people to sign up to the donor register.
Mr Macmillan who went on to set up local charity East Renfrewshire Good Causes (ERGC), said: “I’m only alive today thanks to the transplanted organs, and I really wanted to give something back, to honour the memory of my donor, and to encourage other people to sign up to the organ donor register.
“To be totally cured of my insulin dependent diabetes is an incredible experience.”
Mr Macmillan, who became a type 1 diabetic on his eighth birthday in 1972, won school colours for sport, actively played football and golf, owned and drove a car, and worked full-time.
However, the long term side effect of his diabetes, robbed him of his eyesight by the age of 23.
He went on to set up a video business but by the time he was 40, his kidney function had dropped to 8 per cent, and his diabetic hypo symptoms had all but disappeared, leaving him in danger of coma, heart attack and stroke, resulting in probable death at any time.
It was for this reason that he was listed for a double pancreas/kidney transplant which was carried out in 2007. As having his life saved he set up of East Renfrewshire Good Causes, and the charity has now helped over 1615 individual people, by distributing £293,686 worth of goods and services.
He added: “I hope the achievements of those 2 organs living on inside me, go some way for me to thank God, and honour the memory of the organ donor, whilst giving me a second gift of life.
“I appeal for everyone to sign up to the donor register today.”