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Eli's story

Eli was just six years old when he and his mum, Thelma, were told the shocking news that he only had 10% kidney function left.

A young boy and his mother pose by the Kidney Health mascot

Eli didn’t complain about feeling unwell. He didn’t say he was in pain. There were no symptoms. All his mum, Thelma, noticed was a slight limp now and again when he walked. She didn’t think it was serious, but she took him to the doctor anyway.

“I was told Eli’s kidney function was just 10 per cent”, remembers Thelma. “He had stage five chronic kidney disease.”

For Thelma, everything happened so fast. She’d hardly heard the words ‘kidney disease’ when doctors started talking about Eli needing dialysis to stay alive. They explained Eli would need a transplant when a donor kidney became available.

Dialysis is lifesaving, but it changes everything. For Eli, bedtime was no longer the peaceful, happy time it used to be. Instead of snuggling up and reading stories, Thelma was setting up the equipment six nights a week for Eli to have dialysis through the night.

After three years of dialysis and a year of anxiously waiting on the kidney transplant list, in March 2019 Thelma received the news that a donor kidney for Eli had become available.

Now, Eli is a happy and healthy young boy living his best life and making friends with other kids affected by kidney disease at our Kidney Kids Camp.