KIDNEY transplant patient Gary Rice has been lending a helping hand to the charity he will be forever grateful to.
Gary, of Biddick Woods, Shiney Row, was given the gift of life by his mum Eve, who donated a kidney to him.
Eve, 61, proved a perfect match for her son who had been suffering from kidney failure for more than a year before the operation at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.
Gary, a teacher at Thornhill School, decided that he wanted to give something back, as well as raise awareness about the desperate need for kidney donors.
He arranged a charity night at Ashbrooke Sports Club with live music and entertainment, which raised £1,325 for the worthy cause.
Gary, 33, who is dad to Emma, five, said: “I was just trying to put something back into a thing I have benefited from.
“Obviously my mam gave me the kidney but Kidney Research UK have helped to make a lot of advances in treatments for kidney failure.”
More than 100 people turned up for the evening, with Gary also urging those who haven’t done so to sign up for the organ donor list.
“Hopefully some more people will have signed themselves up,” added Gary, who is married to Lisa.
Emma Collins, fund-raising manager for the North East for Kidney Research UK, said: “Gary contacted me to say he wanted to do something for the charity.
“He said he wanted to give something back and he is also going to be doing things for the charity in future. What he’s done is fantastic.
“We can’t do what we do without people like Gary.
“It was great that Gary’s mam was a match for him, but there are obviously lots of other people who won’t be as fortunate as he has been.”