Following our Kidney Shield competition in partnership with the World Transplant Games Organization (WTGF), we interviewed the happy winners.
Please meet Steve
Please tell us about yourself Steve:
"Hello, my name is Steve Donald, I am 36 years young and I was born in the Netherlands.
I was born with urethral valves that already affected both my kidneys at a younger age. Despite my illness I loved sports, especially playing football which I did at a high level.
Unfortunately, due to my poor condition I couldn't keep up and my blood values got worse. I needed a transplant at the age of 14 which I got thanks to my father who gave me one of his kidneys.
In that time the doctors advised my parents that continuing playing football was too risky for the newly transplanted organ so I had to stop playing football.
At the age of 17 my kidney was rejected by my body and in the same week I needed dialysis, which became a part of my life for 13 years.
In 2014, I had my second transplant and got my mother's kidney, but due to circumstances this went completely wrong. As a result the kidney was lost and I nearly lost my life in the process.
Six years ago I felt blessed when I got my third kidney transplant. This time everything went well and ever since I dare to dream again. I am able to do so much more, including sports like golf, fitness and football.
At first I was really afraid of participating in football and in the beginning I doubted whether or not I should really do it.
I met a few players from the Dutch Transplant Team in Newcastle at the WTG2019. Talking to them convinced me to give it a try so I registered with the Dutch Transplantation football Team.
Playing football after many years feels really great. I am now training with a group of friends at their football club every week. But still I have little confidence and I feel reluctant because I am afraid of getting a bad hit on the transplant kidney."
When you first used the Kidney Shield, what was your overall impression of it?
"I was really impressed by wearing this KidneyShield, the fabric felt soft and has a lot of stretchability"
What's the main reason you would recommend it?
"It gives me more self-confidence during football, and my kidney stays more protected"
How was the process of choosing the right size?
"I had some trouble choosing the right size in the beginning and I was worried whether or not I could fit this shield. However, thanks to Alon and his professional advice we came to the conclusion that Large was the right size for me.
Tell us about the moment you received the Kidney Shield? (we are delivering by express shipping).
When unpacking the KidneyShield it looked really cool, the fabric feels soft, the material has a lot of stretch and it feels really sustainable.
The XRD protection, non-newtonian material looks and feels hard like a shield, so I can believe it can substantially absorb an intense impact.
The KidneyShield is fastened by means of a zipper and Velcro.
As I have had some problems in the past with the Velcro fastening system, l was very interested to find out if your Velcro system is any better! Due to the stretchability of the material, it was a perfect fit. It felt pretty good actually and I couldn't wait to try it out.
Tell us about your first try out of the Kidney Shield.
My first try out of the Kidney Shield has been during football training. For me the experience was incredible, you don't have the feeling that you're wearing the shield at all.
It stays in place when running and sudden movements during the training. Mentally I feel much more protected than I did without the shield.
I do sweat a lot during a high intensive training, but thanks to the excellent breathability of the material it was still comfortable to wear. I washed the shield by hand and it was dry quickly, ready to be used again.
Amazing! Did you try it during any other activity?
I also tried the Kidney Shield during golf, this is a totally different movement because as a golfer one generates a lot of power using the core muscles by rotation.
After a round of 18 holes of golf and many rotations later the shield still stayed in place around the waist. Again for me it felt as if I wasn't wearing the shield at all.
It has been a lot of fun trying out this shield in two completely different kinds of sports.
From now on this Kidney Shield will always be part of my equipment when I play football, but also when playing golf. I'm very satisfied with this product and I would thoroughly recommend this shield to anyone looking for the extra protection."
Thank you so much Steve for this amazing interview!
Each kidney recipient has its own unique and inspiring story and we are amazed to meet more and more people from our worldwide kidney community.
Want us to write about you and how you use the Kidney Shield?
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org