Transplant survivor grateful for gift

Glenis Lucanus is used to defying the odds.

As a young adult receiving treatment for kidney disease, doctors believed she might never have children.

Soon after, she gave birth to three daughters.

Gravely ill with nephritis and given just nine months to live while awaiting a kidney transplant, doctors told her to prepare for the worst.

But, five months into her wait, on her way out of hospital, she was to receive another stroke of luck.

"We got to the front door and my mum said, 'Quick, you've got to go back, there's a kidney they think might be suitable'," she said.

As one of only a handful of Australians who had received a transplant, little was known about how Mrs Lucanus might recover from the operation or how long she would survive.

Now, almost 45 years since the operation that saved her life, the 78-year-old, from Hamilton Hill, has the longest-surviving transplanted kidney in WA.

Mrs Lucanus was not told who donated her kidney, but she said on each anniversary of her transplant, she was reminded of how close she came to never seeing her daughters have children of their own.

She hoped others would consider organ donation, especially for kidneys, which now have one of the highest transplant survival rates.

The West Australian

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