Elaine has worked with BT for over 34 years, starting off as a Clerical Assistant in 1980 then moving into Sales where she spent the largest part of her working career before joining People Development where she currently leads on a number of BT Customer Service and Coaching Programmes.
Kidney Research impacted Elaine from an early age, losing her Dad to kidney failure in December 1977 when she was just 13 years old. In the years that followed Kidney Disease became a very important part of her family’s lives. Elaine is one of 8 people in her family to have received a Kidney Transplant and very recently her younger cousin has been diagnosed with the same condition and is now preparing for dialysis.
Given this backdrop Elaine has been an active Fundraiser and Lay Committee Member for Kidney Research UK for many years, organising and taking part in many varied activities to raise funds and awareness. Elaine has set herself some big personal challenges to raise funds such as climbing Ben Nevis 3 months before she started her dialysis treatment, followed by walking the full 97 miles of the West Highland Way the year after her transplant. Over the years, together with massive support from her family friends and colleagues she has helped to raise over £35,000 towards Kidney Research.
Support and understanding from her employer BT and her colleagues has been very significant, which really aided Elaine’s time on dialysis and her post-transplant recovery, allowing her to continue to work whilst on dialysis and return to work following her kidney transplant. BT’s Chairman Sir Michael Rake recognised Elaine in 2013 with a “Personal Inspiration” award for all of her fundraising activity and he also awarded Kidney Research UK £3000.
Elaine received her Kidney via the “Paired Donor Programme” which meant that although she was unable to directly receive a Kidney from her cousin Peter (who was a brave and willing donor) owing to her antibodies, Elaine received her Kidney from an unknown donor via a “3 way swap”. So Peter’s kidney was given to someone who also had a donor who did not match them and in this scenario there were 3 kidney patients all with donors. Theatre was booked for the same day, and the Kidneys were all flown to their destinations Glasgow, Leicester and Oxford and all transplanted successfully. This would not be possible were it not for the great work that Kidney Research does.
When not working Elaine spends time with her partner Alex and her daughter Lauren (age 19) who were both overjoyed to see her restored to full health following her transplant.
Elaine has a passion for walking and spending time with her family and friends enjoying life to the full and giving back to Kidney Research is incredibly important to her as she has experienced and benefited first hand from the life- saving/prolonging work that they do.