Why altruistic donor Gordon Rutty is taking on the challenge to walk 900ks from the Gold Coast to Sydney…

‘I can’t quite remember when I started thinking about donating my kidney; it was probably some 25 years ago. From when I first became aware of the possibility, I remember thinking, wow wouldn’t that be an awesome thing to do. I have always been a healthy person and believed that I could do it.

I lost a close friend to a brain tumour nearly 20 years ago and I promised myself I would do something in honour of him. Well, time passed by and life got in the way and I did nothing. Then ten years ago I lost another close friend, this time to cancer, and I said to myself that I had to stop wasting time. There was nothing I could have done for Joshua’s brain tumour or Craig’s cancer, but I could give someone a better life or even save their life with the gift of my kidney. I would do this in honour of my friends.

It took some time to find the most compatible recipient and when the time came I was very excited. I was admitted to hospital on the Tuesday, I awoke in the early hours of Wednesday morning thinking to myself this is the most rewarding day of my life.

The transplant was a success, the recipient’s body accepted my kidney and I was told that they were doing really well.

It was through this journey, that I came to realise how many many people are on a waiting list for a life saving organ transplant, not just how many, but the time they have to wait, living not so great a quality of life. The saddest part is that 2 people die every week waiting. It has become my burning desire to see the waiting end.

The aim of Walk To End The Wait, is to increase the awareness of the need for Australians who have a desire to donate their organs, to have a conversation with their families, and register themselves on the Australian Organ Donor Registry, only one in three Australians are registered donors despite the majority (69 per cent) believing that registering is important.

There are around 1,650 Australians currently waitlisted for a transplant and more than 12,000 additional people on dialysis — many who may need a kidney transplant.

Now more than ever, we need more Australians to say “yes” to organ donation.’

Please support my walk by donating to Transplant Australia to help them promote organ donation. It starts in 18th June. I might even see you out there as I pass through country and coastal towns along the way.

Click here to see the route:  Walk to End The Wait Route_

TA Walk to End the Wait Flyer