Devoted Barnet grandma seeks kidney donor to save her life

Ruth Adley needs a transplant to save her from a life on dialysis, as her kidneys are failing


Devoted grandmother Ruth Adley is appealing to the Jewish community to help find her a donor for a life-saving kidney transplant.

Ruth was shocked when doctors told her that her Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) had deteriorated, and her kidney function was at a level where she was now in need of a transplant or face a life on dialysis.   

“I remember when I was first diagnosed with the disease a doctor told me I would be on dialysis by the time I was 60,” Ruth, told the JC. She is now 67. "I think I just put it to the back of my mind and now I’m not sure it feels real."

PKD is a genetic disorder that causes fluid-filled cysts to grow in your kidneys. The cysts can slowly replace much of the kidneys, reducing kidney function and eventually leading to organ failure.

At her last check up on Friday, doctors gave her the news that her kidney function had reduced dramatically and that she was in need of a donor.

“I’m terrified to go on dialysis,” said Ruth. “I’m not sure it has sunk in. A live donor is my best chance.”

On average, kidneys from living donors last longer and there is usually less of a wait. Donors and recipients are matched by blood group and tissue type, and people from the same ethnic background are more likely to have matching blood groups and tissue types.

Unfortunately, her son is unable to be a donor because he has the same genetic condition as her. Her daughter will be tested to see if she can donate, but there is no guarantee.

“Even if she was a match she has a new baby and young children and would not be the ideal donor,” Ruth explained.

Since receiving the news from doctors, the family has launched an appeal within the Jewish community to find a match.

Once a potential living donor comes forward, it usually takes three to six months for them to have all their tests and for the operation to be arranged.

“I have been overwhelmed already with the response,” Ruth, who is being treated at the Royal Free Hospital, told the JC.

In a week, six people from the community have come forward to agree to be tested.

Natasha Langleben, her daughter explained: “We put the message out on a few WhatsApp groups and social media, and it is amazing.

“I was most surprised to hear from someone I went to primary school with and have not spoken to in years. They contacted me to say they would be willing to be tested to see if they are a match for mum.”

Ruth, who has just retired from her job as a bookkeeper and is a member of Western Marble Arch Synagogue, was planning to spend her free time volunteering and playing with her grandchildren.

Natasha said: “I would hate for her to now have such a poor quality of life. Going backwards and forwards to the hospital all the time having treatment would be debilitating.

“She has worked so hard and deserves to enjoy this time. A new kidney would mean she could live as normal a life as possible.”

Ruth, who also suffers from Crohn’s disease, said: “Having grandchildren has been the best thing ever. I adore them so much and want to do so much more with them.”

Because of her Crohn’s disease, her immune system is even weaker and she finds herself “a lot more tired than normal.”

She is also much colder than normal due to her reduced kidney function.

“To find a donor and have a transplant really would be lifesaving for me,” Ruth said.

If you are interested in being tested to see if you are a match, email:

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