major public relations drive takes place annually at the
Comrades Experience - Durban. This is not a political gathering
as the name might suggest! but the exhibition which precedes the
world famous Comrades Marathon which is run between Durban and
Pietermaritzburg, a distance of some 88kms or 53 miles. It is in
fact, an ultra marathon and the number of participants grows
average some 12000 runners plus their families, visit the
Comrades Experience, and increasing numbers of them stop at the
KZN Kidney Association stand where their blood pressure is
checked and basic medical advice is available from trained
personnel. This is done free of charge, and in return each
person is encouraged to carry an organ donor card and asked to
invite friends and relatives to do the same.
KZNKA has participated for 12 consecutive years. Like the
runners who participate in the race 10 times, after the 10th
year we received our own permanent "green number".
day to day running expenses of the KZNKA are met from
subscriptions plus interest on donations. The real work,
however, depends entirely on donations. Although we are proud of
what has been achieved during the past 25 years, we are
conscious that there is a great deal more that needs doing. We
are therefore constantly seeking businesses with a social
conscience, philanthropists and other individuals, willing to
contribute funds to help us achieve our goals.
Hepburn suffered from kidney disease and eventually kidney
failure. He received a transplant from a sister, but
unfortunately that was eventually rejected and he died, leaving
a young wife and two small children. His family, friends and
business associates made such generous donations to the KZNKA in
his memory, that is was decided to invest that money and make an
annual award from the income derived.
rules of the award were set in the early 80s and there has been
no need to amend them since. The candidates must be qualified
doctors, nurses or paramedic persons who wish to further their
studies or undertake research into kidney disease. They must
work with a recognised institution, in South Africa or overseas.
If overseas, they must undertake to return to South Africa for
at least three years after completing their studies so that this
country may benefit from their new
expertise. Preference is given to persons under 50 years of age.
to the Hepburn award, many candidates have been able to improve
their knowledge and experience, which has helped build a solid
base of highly qualified persons in our country