The Big Walk Towards A Brighter Future

Placing a spotlight on kidney research.

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Big Kidney Walk (

Kidney Australia’s largest fundraiser, The Big Red Kidney Walk, is coming up on September 10th and will raise both funds and awareness for Kidney Australia. Kidney disease affects thousands of Australian families, with the donor list containing approximately 1,600 people at any one point, and wait times of up to and exceeding 10 years.

The future is bright though, with an exciting breakthrough in organ transplantation technology announced last Thursday. There is now a new alternative – pig organs. Reported in the journal of Science, advances in gene editing technology have been found to eliminate the risk of retroviral transference from pigs to humans. In other words, they’ve cut out the bad bits. Although there is a bit of an ickyness to the idea of having part of an animal inside you, it may not be as weird as it sounds. In the past, pigskin has been grafted onto burn victims and pig cells have been implanted into diabetic patients. In light of the news, the need for further funding has becoming increasingly pressing, and with more research, the need for a donor could one day be eradicated.

If you want to play your role, the best things to do is to register as an organ donor and to get together with your family for a big walk on September 10th. Further information on The Big Red Walk’s program for individual states can be found here.


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Darcy Fleming is a writer and comedian based in Melbourne. He has recently finished studying a bachelor of arts at the University of Melbourne, where he majored in Philosophy and Creative Writing. He is a member of the Melbourne artists collective Common Cult and also a member of sketch comedy troupe Leaky Bucket. When not writing or comedying Darcy likes to cook, play chess and have intense conversations with his friends.