Gordon Rutty reaches Macksville and talks of his quest to raise awareness for organ donation Highlight Section Nambucca Valley Nambucca Valley News by News Of The Area - Modern Media - July 1, 2021 Dean Kenway, (left), a friend and training partner of Gordon (right), as they both enjoyed some time with Nambucca Valley Mayor Cr Rhonda Hoban (middle). GORDON Rutty isn’t your average man, making the choice some years ago to donate his kidney and become a living donor. “It was an amazing experience,” Gordon said. In order to have this procedure done he needed to go to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney. It was there he underwent numerous tests to make sure he was ready and able to participate in this live organ transplant. “It wasn’t just a stress test on your body to make sure it was in good health,” he told News Of The Area. “They tested your mind too to make sure you knew what you were doing.” One of the positive aspects of being a live donor is it gives the medical fraternity time to find the best possible recipient match to have the most longevity out of the organ. “Unlike a donation after someone has passed away, with this, they could take their time in finding the right match,” Gordon explained. Once a match was found the operation was performed. The operation and transplant was a great success. Once Gordon’s kidney was connected to its recipient the kidney started working immediately and produced urine. In the case of a live donor transplant, the recipient is able to send a card to the donor in a way of thanks and to connect in a confidential manner . “I wasn’t sure if it was male or female or how old they were,” Gordon said. “When I read the card it said they were on dialysis for five years and their quality of life wasn’t very good. “Now they can play with their kids. “Though I’m still not sure if it was a male or female,”Gordon said. Now Gordon is taking on a different challenge, embarking on a ‘Walk to End the Wait’ trek from the Gold Coast to Sydney to raise awareness of the importance of becoming an organ donor, while raising funds for Transplant Australia. “Families need to have the discussion,” he said. “We need to talk about it, kids, tell your parents,” Gordon said passionately. Gordon has been stopping at schools along the way addressing assemblies encouraging the youth to have that talk with their loved ones. His trip involved a visit to Macksville, where he met with Nambucca Valley Mayor Cr Rhonda Hoban. “The Nambucca Valley Council has proudly donated $500 to this cause,” Mrs Hoban announced. Unfortunately, when Gordon reached Port Macquarie, the halfway point, Sydney was shut down in a COVID-19 lockdown. “I am a little disappointed I can’t walk all the way to Sydney, but I have decided to turn around and walk back to the Queensland border,” he told News Of The Area. It will be roughly the same distance as going the distance to Sydney. How does Gordon train for an event like this? “You can’t train for walking 72km per day at home,” he stated. His training regime involves a combination of high intensity interval training, weights, running and hiking. So what is next for Gordon? He will commence training for the Kokoda challenge on the Gold Coast, a 96km trek through the bushland and up and down terrain. Gordon’s Walk to End the Wait donation page can be found here https://www.mycause.com.au/page/246107/walk-to-end-the-wait. By Tamara MCWILLIAM Gordon Rutty takes a short break in Macksville, meeting locals and talking to the Mayor.