21 June 2018
Nine years ago Barry Jacobs had a successful kidney transplant at the Royal Free Hospital - 25 years after his father Michael had the same operation in the same location.
Not only that but the Jacobs’ surgeons were also father and son.
Both Barry and his father have the condition, polycystic kidney disease. Barry’s transplant was performed by Bimbi Fernando and his father’s transplant was performed by Bimbi’s father, Ossie, a former surgeon at the hospital.
Now Barry is planning a journey leading a small group of Land Rover Defenders around the renal transplant centres of the UK to raise funds and awareness for Kidney Research UK. The challenge will launch from the Royal Free Hospital on 23 June.
The team aims to visit 25 hospitals during the two week tour. The journey will avoid major roads and motorways and will be a kidney shaped route around the UK, covering approximately 2,500 miles, finishing at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Barry said: “It will be a great opportunity for patients, families and staff to meet researchers and fund raisers and to hear of some of the amazing work that Kidney Research UK and Kids Kidney Research are currently funding.
“I’m a truly grateful recipient of a kidney transplant following three years of haemodialysis, all of this under the superb care of the Royal Free Hospital. I now try to give as much back to the renal community as possible through the charity Kidney Research UK.
“This challenge celebrates the lives saved by transplant, those still waiting and the many friends and relatives lost along the way. I never want to look back and think I didn’t do anything to help.”
Bimbi Fernando said: “My father and I are so interested to hear what Barry is doing and we are both so proud that he is launching his fundraising journey from the Royal Free Hospital.
"We are performing more kidney transplants than ever before here at the Royal Free and anything that can highlight the importance of kidney donation and kidney research is fantastic.”