Update: It happened. On a gorgeous Sunday morning, my trusty old Conn sax and I put ourselves in the capable hands of Nigel from Over the Edge, got strapped in and went, well, over the edge. Thanks to Suzy for filming it all (it's here on Youtube, or on the video link on the left) and to David Reed for taking some great pics. Huge thanks to Dave Silk for bringing his bass, and PA, and providing a great commentary, and revealing his ancestral association with Guy's Hospital. We had a great crew of supporters on the ground - thanks to you all: Tess, Paul, Sophie, Joanna and John and family, Andrea and Scruff the dog.
===OK, so it's been done before, but that was...before. Since March 2006, Guy's hospital has become a bit of a second home. For a few months in 2006 after being diagnosed with 'end stage renal failure', I was on dialysis there, then after a spell of being on a different kind of dialysis that I could do anywhere. Then in August 2007, thanks to the great generosity of my friend Maff, who gave me one of his, I had a kidney transplant. Since then, we've recorded and released a CD containing the songs 'Live Life Then Give Life' and 'Have One Of Mine' in aid of the great young charity Live Life Then Give Life which is on iTunes here and set up the website www.haveoneofmine.com, to promote living kidney donation. One of our mutual friends was inspired to become one of the UK's first dozen or so 'non-directed, altruistic living donors'. Later in 2007, I was invited to become the Chair of the Guy's and St Thomas' Kidney Patients' Association. Over the years this tiny charity, all volunteers, has done so much fundraising, that we recently committed to providing £750,000 over the next five years to a new Transplant Research Centre at Guy's Hospital - the only one of its kind in the country. The staff there, many of whom are also consultants at the hospital, are doing some amazing ground-breaking work, which has the real potential to make transplants more available and even more successful than they are at the moment. So, in order to be able to fund other, equally valuable things, like: - sending kids and adult transplant patients to the British Transplant Games; - providing accommodation in Ronald McDonald House for families of young children with serious illnesses while they're in hospital; - or creating social events for dialysis patients whose movements are severely restricted; - funding experimental posts which have been taken over by the Trust because they've proved so valuable; - and many smaller things that have a real benefit to people's lives... the KPA needs to raise yet MORE cash. And that is where you come in. Any donation you can make here, large or small, will help to make it possible to do more of all these things. Donating through Justgiving is quick, easy and totally secure. It's also the most efficient way to sponsor me: Guy's & St. Thomas' Hospital Kidney Patients' Association gets your money faster and, if you're a UK taxpayer, Justgiving makes sure 25% in Gift Aid, plus a 3% supplement, are added to your donation.
So please sponsor me now! If you'd like to come and watch the abseil happen, it's scheduled for 9.30am on Sunday 28 June, 2009. Come to the main entrance of the hospital on Great Maze Pond here's a map, and on the left is a shaky film of the last time I did this.