05 Feb 2018


Janine Winfield is about to take part in the Salzburg to Vienna Cycle Challenge in aid of Kidneys for Life and this is Janine’s story in her own words.

“Last September I underwent a life-saving operation which has completely changed my life.

I have been suffering with kidney disease for many years and was told I would eventually need to have a kidney transplant operation. I battled on for as long as I could but in September last year a kidney was donated to me by a wonderful friend of mine who selflessly risked her life to save mine.

We received the best treatment from all of the staff and surgeons at MRI hospital and we will be forever grateful to them.”

My Story

My story first began back in 2009
I couldn’t understand why I felt so ill
At age 24, I was in my prime
I went to see the doctor
And had lots of strange tests
They found out what was wrong
And the news wasn’t the best

My kidneys were damaged
Functioning at 38%
This was shocking news to me
I wasn’t sure what this meant
I had a kidney biopsy
To find out what was wron
It was an auto immune disease
That had been hiding all along

A naughty little disease called
IGA nephropathy
Immunoglobulin A
Where lodging in my kidneys
Like they owned the property
This caused chronic kidney disease
Which could not be cured
They said I may need to have a kidney transplant
My jaw nearly hit the floor

I decided this disease wouldn’t beat me
And I’d be taking charge
IGA may have moved itself in
But it can stay in the garage
With a very healthy lifestyle
I was stable for the next 7 years
But last winter I caught a chest infection
Which reduced me to tears
My kidney function dropped
To around 9%
Unfortunately this time
I knew exactly what this meant

I had to go on a waiting list
To have a kidney transplant operation
Friends and Family were tested
This caused a lot of fear and frustration
Then I met the wonderful
Mr Afshin Tavakoli
I knew he’d work his magic
And help to stop me from being so poorly
That smiling face
Is always a pleasure
This man who saves so many lives
Is someone we all dearly treasure

I was now so unwell
I could barely get out of bed
It felt like Someone was drilling
Into the side of my head
There were horrible side effects
As my kidneys couldn’t clean my blood.
My legs were really swollen
Fluid not filtering as it should
I had a constant metal taste
That wouldn’t go away
I felt sick from the moment I woke up
This feeling stayed all day
Sleeping was also difficult
Another side effect of this condition
Manchester Royal then called me up
They’d been on a serious mission

A friend of mine was match
And was willing to donate
This gave me hope that I would survive
And it wasn’t too late
In September last year
I had live donor transplant operation
Now I feel on top of the world
There was no need for the fear or frustration

This gift has changed my life ….so very much
All of the side effects have disappeared
Within a matter of months
I was doing what I love
Seeing new places, lots of Travelling is in store
So far I’ve been to Budapest, Germany…
Japan and Singapore

Thanks to organ donation
My future is very bright
So please put your hands in your pockets
And donate to Kidneys for life tonight!

Myself, my brother Joe Winfield and Andrew Lowe complete the Salzburg to Vienna Cycle challenge to raise as much money as possible for KFL. My wonderful surgeon Afshin Tavakoli will also be joining us as well as other team members at MRI.

The cycle is approximately 250 miles from Salzburg to Vienna and on the first day of the cycle ride I’ll be celebrating the first anniversary of my kidney transplant. It’s changed my life.

Please see our virgin money page below


We would appreciate any donations possible towards this worthy cause.