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Statement from Sandi to Australian Story

Statement to Australian Story: April 14, 2008

If people talk about live unrelated organ donations without much thought for the person who is suffering from kidney disease it is easy to think that the donor is crazy or being coerced. But I have watched my partner over the last two years as she has gone throught the ups and downs of not knowing whether she is going to receive a new kidney and I can tell you that what has happened with regard to Ash's efforts to donate to Sandi come across in a very different way to us.

We have come to know Ash as an intelligent, confident, articulate and independent person, who has a deep commitment to his Christian faith. We have come to appreciate his dogged determination to carry through with his desire to help Sandi despite prolonged oppostion and almost insurmountable logistical problems and we are both profoundly grateful to him for not giving up in his efforts to help Sandi.

At the same time we have seen the efforts to stop him from donating in quite a different light compared to the way in which the media has chosen to portray it. We find it hard to think of this as a personal tragedy for his mother, or a crime against her rights as a mother. We feel that far too much has been made by the media of some spurious claims against the Jesus Christians, in an effort to sensationalise what would otherwise have been seen as a very moving story of personal love and true altruism.

There are thousands of others like Sandi in Canada, Australia and overseas who are suffering from end-stage kidney disease. Most of them have to wait for years for a kidney to become available never knowing if one will arrive in time. Thousands have died while waiting. Ash and the Jesus Christians were hoping to see the media interest in this donation help to get people to see that they too could help save another person's life by volunteering for a live kidney donation. We sincerly hope that this message will come across in your next report.

Sandi and Jane
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