Championing for The Child in Need of a Kidney
The Windhoek Kidney & Dialysis Centre does not dispense medication. This means that Namibians on dialysis need to get their medication from pharmacies with dispensing licenses. Through dispensing medication to patients on dialysis, pharmacies develop relationships with patients. This was the case with the Lifestyle Pharmacy in Windhoek and one young Namibian from Rehoboth, Julian Rittmann, who is possibly the only child in Namibia with a rare kidney disease, Deny’s Dash Syndrome.
Through meeting and interacting with this young boy, the team at Lifestyle Pharmacy knew that they needed to get involved to help Julian. “He just needs help, he is so very dear to us. You walk in there [The Windhoek Kidney & Dialysis Centre] and he’ll make sure, if he’s not connected on the machine he will run to you and just hug you.” Says Annacky Nakatana, from Lifestyle Pharmacy.
Abnormal kidney function saw Julian’s kidneys removed last year, and in need of dialysis three times a week, while he awaits a transplant. With a match ready to offer up her kidney, all that is needed now is funding.
Commuting to Windhoek from Rehoboth three times a week, for three to four hours of Dialysis, Julian’s parents have up until now, been alone in their support and fundraising efforts for Julian. Annacky explains that Julian’s Stepdad has had to give up his job to ensure Julian get the dialysis he needs in Windhoek. “His parent’s don’t have the finances to do so, so we decided, why not help. We have been campaigning and we’ve already got donations in.” says Annacky.
The funds raised will go to covering the medical costs involved for Julian’s Aunt to give her kidney to Julian. The target is around N$900 000. To Julian, an eleven-year-old boy, this transplant means not only living a normal life, but also going back to school as Annacky explains “The things he is looking forward to after his transplant, is going back to school so he can one day become a doctor, oh and being able to eat peanut butter again.”
Confident they will reach the target, Annacky explains that with the help of kind hearted individuals, they will continue to collect funds for Julian until August. When asked why Namibians should support this cause in whichever way they can, Annacky notes, “, “When you do something for the next person, it gives you peace. You are giving this child a future and you are giving this family hope.”
Annacky also notes that organ donor support in Namibia is still something that needs awareness. “We still have to spread [the information] and educate, I mean you only need one kidney in any case. I think we have to start donating organs. Especially when you pass on. We have this, in our cultures, we have to be buried whole but that’s something we really need to try to educate people about. Things only happen when you believe them. It’s also from you as a person, what do you want to do? Do you want to make a difference or not? It’s almost like a legacy thing if you pass on your organs, I mean your organs were also just borrowed to you.”
If you want to help Julian get his kidney, please support this cause in any way you can either through a donation which can be made in the Lifestyle Pharmacy at Maerua Lifestyle Centre or directly to the Trust Fund account.
Banking details are:
The Julian Rittmann Trust Fund, Bank Windhoek, Branch : 486572, Acc No: 8004483342
For more information contact Annacky Nakatana at Lifestyle Pharmacy on 061 303 814
Written by Kirsty Watermeyer