IMPROVING LIVES: John Buchanan looks forward to launching the group.
IMPROVING LIVES: John Buchanan looks forward to launching the group. Jorgia White

Kidney Disease support groups kicks off

LIVING with kidney disease can be an isolating experience but a new Coast-based support group is here to tell sufferers that they are not alone.

The Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service based in Caloundra, is inviting men living with the disease to join a new support group, kicking off in early 2017.

Social worker John Buchanan said one Australian dies with kidney disease every 25 minutes.

"Everyone's kidney disease journey is different, he said.

"Many of the men living with kidney disease have said that talking with others who are experiencing a similar journey is incredibly helpful.

"We are looking to deliver a monthly support group for men that will provide emotional support in a welcoming environment where men can share their unique journey, their feelings and concerns."

Shane Butler was first diagnosed with the disease eight years ago and knows how deeply this disease can impact upon one's life.

"The hardest things about living with kidney disease is the reduction in quality of life, the fatigue and shortness of breath," he said.

"Not being able to do the things I could in the past, and feeling that I am inferior in the eyes of others."

He said that the idea of a men's support group is a great idea.

"It would be a great opportunity to talk about things that you might not feel you could share with clinical staff or your partner," he said.

Peter Kolanowski, is another former sufferer who received a kidney transplant in 2010.

He said that although he doesn't still have kidney disease, as such, he still needs constant monitoring because of the medications and their side effects.

"I feel that being part of a men's support group is important because I can answer questions that only someone who has gone through it can answer," he said.

To register interest for the group, get in contact with John by e-mailing: john.buchanan@health. or calling 5436 8552.

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