Family and friends hope Kaka inspires others to consider organ donation
Bharat Patel crossed the finish line of a marathon challenge in memory of his close friend, to raise awareness of the need for more organ donors from minority ethnic communities.
Bharat, 48, devised his own 26.2-mile route past landmark sporting sites, starting at Stalybridge Celtic FC and taking in Old Trafford cricket ground in honour of his golf partner Nanunbhai Patel who he calls Kaka.
Kaka suffered kidney failure in his early 30's and had dialysis for eight years prior to his first transplant in 1995. This kidney lasted until 2013 when he faced dialysis for a second time until 2016 when he received a second transplant.
Transplants change lives
“People think transplant is a cure but for many people they need more than one in their lifetime.
“I hope the challenge helps make more people aware of kidney disease and raises the profile of organ donation.
"Transplants are not cure for life but through the selfless generosity of organ donors and their families, transplants can and did make an immeasurable difference to recipients such as Kaka and his family."
Kaka’s experience made Bharat realise how there is a real lack of organ donors from people of all backgrounds but particularly those from minority ethnic communities.
If one person steps forward to offer to donate a kidney because of this then it will all have been worthwhile. Having that conversation about organ donation with family and next of kin is all I could ask.
Kaka was an amazing man
“Kaka was an amazing man whose friendship and values I will always treasure. Despite weekly dialysis as well as the transplants, he remained active through a range of sports including playing pool and cricket.
"Golf was his passion and it’s on the course that I was privileged to have spent quality time with him over the years. So doing something involving sport seemed like a fitting tribute."
Bharat was inspired to do something positive to honour his friend after Kaka died in December 2020 aged 69.
Also, suffering painful kidney stones himself last year, this made Bharat think about kidneys more. Also, a friend’s baby was recently diagnosed with a kidney defect before birth so raising money for Kidney Research UK was so timely.
“It feels good to make a small difference, do something in honour of a great friend and raise awareness of the need for life-saving kidney research.”
Helping the doctors of tomorrow learn
Kaka’s daughter, Nisha Patel, said: “Dad was a huge advocate for organ donation and kidney research, due to suffering with kidney failure half his life he was keen to support the ongoing developments in this area of medicine.
“Also regularly volunteering his time to the local teaching hospital to help the doctors of tomorrow to learn. Dad loved life and he embraced every day even though he was contending with either dialysis or the myriad of side effects from the drugs used post-transplant.
“He was very humble and we know he we would be amazed at the amount that has been raised in his name for a charity close to his heart.”
Keeping the memory of a loved one alive through a fundraising memory page is a great way to commemorate their life. Continue their story. Follow the link to find out how.
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