Aims:
  • To produce a documentary of the real-life story of an Indigenous man facing kidney failure and considering his options for a kidney donor transplant.
Objectives:
  • To effectively illustrate the difficult issues Indigenous people with kidney disease – particularly those from remote areas - face when determining their treatment options.
Summary:

Transplant Story: A Personal Journey is a 52 minute film of the real-life story of an Indigenous family living with kidney disease. The documentary closely follows a young man, who had a living donor transplant when he was a child and which lasted 24 years.

In an unprecedented act of generosity, the young man and his family invited Menzies to make a film of their journey as they work through the complex issues of organ donation. Award winning film maker Brendan Fletcher, who has a long standing relationship with the family was invited to produce the film. 

Filming commenced in early 2013 and is now complete with the young man receiving a deceased donor kidney on Mother’s Day 2014.

Implications for policy and practice:

There are many reasons for low transplant rates including that Aboriginal people are less likely to be healthy donors and the possibility that they might be less willing to consider donation.

However, the story of transplantation is more complex than that and current take home information for patients unintentionally simplifies the transplant workup creating unrealistic expectations of the process and time frames.

Documenting this journey serves two key kidney education purposes: it will provide a resource that enables patients to explore key concepts with healthcare providers; and will provide the backbone on which to develop useful educational resources that address any identified shortcomings.

Our research has found:  

A kidney transplant offers the best quality of life for a person with kidney disease. It is the lowest cost option and offers the best result of all treatment options. Even though Indigenous Australians are many times more likely to suffer kidney failure, less than one in 20 transplants are allocated to Indigenous Australians.

Chief investigator: 
Project manager:
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Project dates:

This documentary will be for national release in early 2015.

It will also provide the backbone from which a number of projects will rise including educational information for Indigenous people with renal disease and cross cultural information for health science students and clinicians.

Menzies is pursuing both funding and partners to further this work.

Funders:
  • Merck Sharp and Dohme Australia
  • Amgen Australia.

The documentary will provide the backbone from which a number of projects will rise including educational information for Indigenous people with renal disease and cross cultural information for health science students and clinicians.

Menzies is pursuing both funding and partners to further this work. For further information, contact Gillian Gorham.

 

Collaborators:
  • Barefoot Films – Brendan Fletcher
  • Feral Films – Paul Bell
  • Royal Perth Hospital
  • Morgan Family.