Christmas Appeal: A Gift For Kidney Patients

Christmas is traditionally a time to reflect on the year that has been, but it is also a time to think of others who might not be as fortunate.

Recently, Wishlist visited Caloundra Hospital’s Renal Unit where we met Currimundi mother-of-four Briony Fahey. This year will mark Briony’s second Christmas on dialysis to treat Chronic Kidney Disease.

Briony was diagnosed with the incurable disease nine years ago while she was pregnant with her youngest child Hope. 

“I found out I had gestational diabetes when I was 18 with my first child,” Briony says.

“I was on insulin and tablets but continued to get infections. After I had Hope the specialist did a biopsy on my kidneys. Both of them were failing.

“I knew I would have to start dialysis at some point but I was lucky that I had six more years.”

At 42, Briony is one of the youngest on the ward the day. She lights up when she talks about her children and how she also spends her spare time packing grocery hampers for the region’s homeless. She also reflects on how life has changed since starting dialysis.

“For my kids, ‘mum being sick’ is their kind of normal,” she says.

“My youngest children are 10 and 8 and they do miss out on a lot. I have to be here three days a week - it’s part of our everyday life.

“Dialysis is really taxing. When I get home I’m exhausted and I feel terrible for not being able to play with my kids or watch them play sport on a Saturday.”

Briony attends the hospital 13 hours a week where a machine works to remove the toxins from her blood. It’s a job her kidneys can no longer handle, which function at just 2 percent.

Unfortunately, Briony’s story is not unique. Currently there are around 340 people accessing dialysis treatment or are at the end-stage of kidney disease on the Sunshine Coast.  Many, like Briony, are awaiting a potentially life-saving phone call for an organ transplant.

This Christmas, Wishlist is raising funds to help renal patients like Briony who are receiving treatment at Caloundra and Nambour hospitals. We are hoping to fund in-care entertainment to provide a welcome distraction for patients, and continue to support vital research projects investigating Chronic Kidney Disease.

To cover these costs, we need your help – and a generous gift of $20 will help us reach our goal and make life a little better for patients receiving treatment.

Your donation will help patients like Briony, which is a wonderful gift at this time of year.


We’d like you to know that Wishlist’s operational costs are covered by enterprise including the Nambour Hospital car park, therefore 100 percent of your donation will go directly the cause. All funds raised stay right here in our community for the benefit of local patients and their families.