National DonateLife Week: ‘We’re the lucky ones’ says mum who donated kidney to teen daughter

Daily Telegraph | Jessica Clement

Vaucluse mother and daughter Annmaree and Ally Kanakis. Picture: Carly Earl

ALLY KANAKIS is thankful she can call herself a normal teenager. She’s a film buff who likes to stay up late and who enjoys the odd bit of exercise — only when she’s motivated — but two years ago, life was far from normal.

In fact, her normal life today stands in stark contrast to what her life was like when her kidneys finally began to give way.

“I was tired. I couldn’t do normal things like run or swim. I’d be falling asleep on the couch,” she said.

Her kidney failure gave rise to other conditions — rickets and anaemia — and combined with some other medical issues, life had become increasingly tough.

transplant was the only way forward and luckily for Ally, mum Anmaree was a perfect match.

“At that point, as a parent you just do whatever it is you need to do,” Anmaree told theCourier.

Despite their time under the knife, both Ally and Anmaree consider themselves the lucky ones.

“There are plenty of kids out there whose parents aren’t able to donate for whatever reason and so they go on the waiting list, most of the time for years, they end up on dialysis,” Anmaree said.

“Whatever we can do to encourage people to sign up as a donor, we will. It’s hard when people haven’t been impacted by this in any way in their own lives to get them thinking about it.

“It would be interesting to consider if we could change the system, ensure everyone is a donor and instead of opting in, people can opt out.” Continue reading