Following our Kidney Shield competition in partnership with the World Transplant Games Organization (WTGF), we interviewed the happy winners.
Please meet Lewis
Hey Lewis, please tell us about yourself:
"My name's Lewis Daniels, I'm from North Lincolnshire, UK and I received a kidney from my mum in July 2019.
I'm a keen cricketer and joined the England and Wales Transplant Cricket Team in 2020. Sport has always been a major part of my life and a source of physical and mental relief during my time with chronic kidney disease.
Last year, I decided I wanted to help others who have been through similar experiences to me so launched a podcast, Transplants Take On Sport, to allow people to hear stories of sporting success from people within the transplant community. The feedback suggests my plan has worked and I have found it very useful to talk to people more experienced than me in living with a transplant.
When I first became aware of the Kidney Shield I thought it could be a game changer... and it certainly is!
How are you feeling as a cricketer and kidney transplant recipient?
As a keen cricketer, since my transplant in July 2019, I've been searching for something to protect my new kidney that was protective and comfortable to play in with minimal restrictions. I've tried a few different options but my movement has been restricted in some way. The Kidney Shield ticked the boxes I was looking for. The protective part conforms to the movement of my body and from just knocking on it, you can tell it offers solid protection.
For me, confidence was the main thing to gain as, thankfully, I have never been hit in my lower abdomen with a cricket ball and hope to keep it that way. I haven't batted in the Kidney Shield yet but I am far more confident when bowling and fielding as it is made from similar materials to other cricket equipment. Also, although I'm happy to talk about my kidney transplant, the fact the kidney shield can be discreetly worn under my clothes avoids questions that a bulkier guard may attract.
When you first used the Kidney Shield, what was your overall impression?
"It improved my confidence when the ball was coming towards me in the field as I knew the Kidney Shield was covering my transplanted kidney. I liked that it was discreet yet still offered a high level of protection. It was very comfortable and was even more secure after I tucked my shirt into my trousers over the Kidney Shield."
Would you recommend the Kidney Shield? And if so, for what reasons?
"To allow fellow kidney transplant recipients to feel confident that their kidney is protected and allow them to freely play the sports they love. I am much more confident when I play cricket in the Kidney Shield.
In terms of comfort, the Kidney Shield is very easy to put on thanks to clear instructions inside the box and I've actually forgotten I've been wearing it at times. It's genuinely very comfortable to wear. The only time it has not been totally comfortable is when it his ridden up towards my ribs when bowling. However, I found that tucking my shirt in prevented this.
Overall, the Kidney Shield looks great, fits well and is very comfortable to wear. I would highly recommend it to any kidney transplant recipient with an active lifestyle, not just cricket. At first glance it may appear to be on the expensive side, but when you consider the protection it provides to a priceless gift, I would say it's totally justified."
Thank you so much Lewis for this great and inspiring interview!
Each kidney recipient has such a unique and inspiring story and we are amazed to meet more and more people from our worldwide kidney community.
Want us to write about your personal story?
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org