View Full Version : Marathon for charity

18-Jul-11, 10:15
Charity canoe trip to benefit Highland renal patients

A HIGHLAND man is taking to the water in a bid to raise money for the Renal Unit at Raigmore Hospital in Inverness while also raising awareness of kidney disease and dialysis.
Martin MacRae, 53 from Inverness, is leaving Fort William by canoe on the 30th August and will take six days to travel to Inverness. His hope is this charity trip will not only raise awareness but also raise enough money to buy the department up to three portable dialysis machines.
Mr MacRae has been on haemodialysis for the past year meaning he has to attend hospital three times a week for four-hour sessions on a dialysis machine, which keeps him alive.
Patients on dialysis also have the option of being dialysed at home but, due to the size of the equipment needed and necessary alterations required to their property to accommodate a kidney dialysis machine it can be limited to home owners with a big enough house to accommodate all the kit.
Mr MacRae hopes the money raised during his charity canoe trip will allow the Renal Unit to buy portable dialysis machines, making it easier for a patient to be dialysed at home as they are much smaller and do not require all the home modifications current systems require.
It can also be difficult for patients who live in rented accommodation as it is invariably very difficult to modify these properties.
He said: “Dialysis from home can be done six days a week for shorter periods of time so many patients do find it more appealing and it has been shown to be a much more natural form of treatment giving significant long term health benefits.
“It not only allows patients to have more time to themselves as dialysis is done at their convenience, but it also allows a significant relaxation in diet and the strict fluid intake, which most dialysis patients live with daily. The increase in energy and the freedom this gives back to a person is incredible.
“I’ve been treated very well by everyone at the Renal Unit in Inverness, it is quite a ‘family’ atmosphere here but, after speaking to staff and fellow renal patients, there are those who appreciate that they can be dialysed at home, and a portable machine will mean that someone who isn’t able to have this treatment at home due to space restrictions or rented accommodation has that option available to them.”
Mr MacRae will be joined by seven friends on this challenge. A total of four canoes will be used with 2 people to each one. The original plan was to have all the dialysis equipment, tents and food transported in canoe, however there was a concern that a canoe may capsize and they could lose the dialysis machine, which has been loaned to them by manufacturer NxStage for the challenge.
Mr MacRae said: “Thankfully MacRae and Dick in Inverness have helped out by supplying a 4x4 to assist in transporting the dialysis equipment between camp sites daily.”
He goes on to explain that this adventure won’t just be about the physical effort for him but he will also need to dialyse while on the trip.
He said: “We could do it in less than six days but I will need to stop and, while the rest are setting up camp, be needled and connected to a portable dialysis machine powered by a portable generator. This will need to happen for three hours each day and will involve me sitting very still due to the needles in my arm, which I think will prove a challenge with the infamous Scottish midges!
“We’ve been extremely fortunate as we have had some canoe training from Mr Donald Macpherson of Explore Highland, who has given us not only his time and expertise, but also the use of his canoes and equipment for the challenge. Without his input it would have been a disaster as none of us has much previous experience.”
Dr Stewart Lambie, Renal Consultant for NHS Highland, is incredibly grateful for this generous gesture and wishes Martin and the rest all the very best for their trip.
He said: “What they are setting out to do is an amazing challenge and I really do wish them all luck but, Martin taking part while still requiring dialysis really should be applauded.
“A portable dialysis machine can be life changing for a patient. It allows them to get their treatment at home instead of coming into hospital, is less intrusive and with more frequent shorter sessions they feel better and are likely to live longer.”
To support Martin and the team, or to read more about the challenge, please visit his Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/Martin-MacRae.