Big smiles as kidney fundraiser raises $24k

By James Bennett

Recovering from major surgery and being away from home can cause a financial stress nobody wants to endure.

Allan O'Brien knows all too well what it does for families.

Luckily, Mr O'Brien has recovered from a kidney transplant and is now giving back to those who helped him.

At a January fundraiser — Shepparton's Big Red Dinner — it managed to raise a little over $24 000 for Kidney Charity House in Melbourne.

Mr O'Brien lived at the house for three months last year after his kidney transplant, that has ultimately saved his life.

He said the fundraising dinner was hoping to raise $15 000, but couldn't believe the generosity of local businesses and individuals.

Mr O'Brien said the Kidney Charity House provided much-needed support for rural and regional patients.

“The facilities are brilliant,” he said.

“We estimated it saved our family about $10 000. We're a young family with three kids.

“My wife couldn't work and I obviously couldn't work for three months.

“The staff are brilliant.

“My family could all stay with me in this apartment. I just wanted to give back and I thought, how could I do it, so we set (up) our own charity.”

Mr O'Brien shared the impromptu cheque presentation with non-direct donor and fellow local Sharon Lindsay.