Just days after World Kidney Day, the same date as Miriam Tasker’s birthday, a fundraiser to help her meet the financial demands of a transplant has raised $8,000.
Long-time friend, Melissa Tory and her father Gerald organised the event, which was held at the Wooli Bowling & Recreation Club on Sunday March 13.
Mr Tory, who is a director at the club, said the entertainment on the day was “spectacular” and that the club was full of people.
He thanked all of “the businesses around the Grafton area that donated prizes” for the raffles.
“And Dave Lorenzo, from Tyndale Bakery, who donated all of the bread, baked Miriam’s birthday cake, performed the Christian puppet show for the kids and helped run the day,” he said.
“Thanks to all of the musicians who donated their time and Matt Robison and Lauren Tarrant who supplied and ran the sound system.
“The Wooli Bowling Club was very supportive and I thank the directors, members and staff for their efforts.”
On February 24, the Independent reported that Miriam and her partner, Campbell Lynne, were awaiting news on whether they would be matched and included in the Australian Paired Kidney Exchange Program, which identifies “matches for patients who are eligible for a kidney transplant, and [who] have a living donor who is willing but unable to donate because of an incompatible blood type or tissue type”.
Ms Tasker said that she and her partner “look like we’ve been matched up with a chain of people; there’s about 12 of us all told – six donors and six recipients”.
“Campbell had to do bloods last Monday [March 7] and [his blood samples] were transported to Victoria to be tested and ensure the right match,” she said.
“We still have to go through the final tests – the computer matches all the donors and recipients to make sure all the pairs are compatible.”
Ms Tasker said the process is kept relatively confidential. “We don’t know the donors or recipients, whether they’re male or female or their ages.
“The donors and recipients all get prepped on the same day.
“The donors kidneys are harvested first, then the kidneys are transported to the hospital [possibly in different cities around Australia] where the recipients are – it all happens within the space of a day.”
She said the medical team is aiming to do the transplants sometime in May, however, “we won’t know an exact date until about two weeks before it happens.”
Ms Tasker and her partner will be operated on at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.
She said she was bowled over by the fundraising day, which featured eight country artists.
“It was a fabulous effort; without Gerald and Melissa the day couldn’t have happened,” she said.
“I consider them family not just friends; and all of the musical artists who donated their time on the day – I always say music is for life – we consider our country music friends as family, too.
“There was lots of support from locals and people from all over the place.”
Funds raised on the day will be used to financially support the family during the three-month recovery time following a transplant.
For more information go to: gofundme.com/miriamskidney.