Transplant recipient giving back after kidney failure 'flipped life upside down'

23rd of March, 2021

Charlie Herewini


Kidney donation the ultimate birthday gift for Stabicraft founder

23rd of March, 2021

Paul Adams


Stuff reports on "While I still Can" escooter challenge completion

23rd of March, 2021


One News Article

9th of March, 2021

Read more about Eugene's Journey and watch the Newscast here.

Screen Capture of Eugene on One News


While I still can - Eugene's Epic Journey

25th of February, 2021

E-scooter from Picton to Bluff to promote Kidney Health Month

 Eugene Sanders Ready for his epic journey

In March 2021, as part of Kidney Health Month, Eugene Sanders who has Polycystic Kidney Disease* is embarking on an incredible journey to achieve a personal challenge for himself, while supporting the work of Kidney Health New Zealand (KHNZ) in building awareness and prevention of kidney disease.  

“My goal is to do something that has not been done before, providing me with a personal physical challenge in the short time my health permits while adding to and supporting the work in raising awareness of kidney disease and prevention in the community,” Eugene Sanders says.

One in 10 people in New Zealand have kidney disease but 90% (500,000 people) are unaware of their condition until the disease is at an advanced stage.  With awareness and early detection, in most cases the disease can be managed and preventing the final stage treatment of dialysis or kidney transplants.

Travelling by off-road electric scooter, Eugene will follow the Tour Aotearoa Trail 1,400km from Picton to Bluff with a support crew, including his half-brother Charne Christense, and his wife Janine Sanders.  He will be stopping in key locations on the journey and promoting kidney health with the support of Kidney Health NZ who will also be encouraging its network to support him as he enters towns/cities. He will be raising funds for Kidney Health NZ along the way with his Give-A-Little page.

Eugene is based in Christchurch and works as operations manager for Canterbury Cricket and has been a keen player all his life. He was first diagnosed in 2009 at the age of 36, after a cricket game left him sore the next day and his urine had changed colour, he checked with his GP who took his blood pressure and organised a blood test. The results quickly led to being referred to a nephrologist at Christchurch Hospital and a visit to the renal unit, terminology he had no understanding of at the time. He was shocked he had this hereditary form of the disease, and it had taken this long to discover.

Last August 2020, his 15 year old son Joshua, who attends Christchurch Boys High School  was also diagnosed with the disease.

His message to everyone is “get yourself tested”. You just don’t know, this could be you. When you go for your GP check up, ask for a kidney test. It’s a simple blood test, urine sample and blood pressure check.

Eugene’s condition has now deteriorated to only 28% kidney function and he will need a kidney transplant within the next two years. Both his wife Janine and his brother Charne have offered to be tested for the donor exchange programme.

Eugene departs Picton on Monday 8 March and plans to arrive in Bluff on 21 March.

The event will coincide with World Kidney Day on 11 March (, a global focus on kidney disease and its prevention. It is planned to incorporate Eugene’s challenge around World Kidney Day and other events planned for March 2021 including a journey completion celebration in Bluff on 21 March.

Corporate partners have been generous in their donations to cover the costs of the challenge event including e-scooters, campervan, equipment, accommodation. A public donation campaign through Give-A-Little is encouraging people to support Eugene’s goal to raise a minimum of $10k to support KHNZ in awareness around prevention of kidney disease.

Black Sheep Trading, e-bike and scooter specialists in Christchurch, are giving him the use of four specially designed off-road scooters designed to go on any rugged terrain he may encounter down the South Island’s West Coast. He will have full safety gear, and high-vis donated by…Support form Top 10 Holiday Parks and THL will allow him to have a campervan and places to stay along the way, with the vehicle also acting as a mobile charging station for the scooters.

The route has been given NZTA approval, and he will also have a satellite phone and GPS with him so he can keep in touch with his brother Charne in the support vehicle, courtesy of…in places with no cellphone coverage.

His e-scooter has a battery life for 120kms. His wife Janine will be joining her company’s sales reps on their trips around the South Island and catching up with him when she can.

Along the way he will meet up with cricket umpire colleagues and friends, including… in Nelson who will keep him company on parts of the track.

Along with his son Joshua, daughter Jordan, 18 and younger son Kyle 12 are also supporting Dad.

Follow Eugene’s journey on his Facebook page.

* Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is an inherited disease in which clusters of cysts develop in the kidneys causing your kidneys to enlarge and lose function over time often requiring a transplant. 


December Update out now

22nd of December, 2020

Our latest newsletter is available now.  Click here for news on:



EAS Sponsorship

9th of March, 2020

Welcome to our newest sponsor - EAS WaikatoNew Partner EAS Waikato

We are excited to announce our partnership with EAS Waikato.   Their support will help us to raise awareness of kidney health in the Waikato region.   This partnership will see staff of EAS are looking to actively be involved in our organisation.   We are looking forward to working together to raise awareness and provide free kidney health checks.   Look out for EAS staff collecting in Hamilton for World Kidney Day 2020!


2019 Annual Report

26th of November, 2019

The 2019 Annual Report is now available.  Click here to view.


Flu Jabs

2nd of April, 2019


April 1, 2019

Flu can be deadly for people with kidney failure – get immunised

 Lily Palmer receives her annual flu shot from vaccinator Lisbeth Alley. 

Influenza-linked illness is associated with more than 1,000 deaths from kidney failure each year in the United States, according to a recent study[1].

One of the study’s authors, Dr David Gilbertson, says flu immunisation should be a key strategy in protecting patients with kidney failure.

In New Zealand, if you have a kidney condition you are eligible for a free flu shot from your doctor or nurse. Immunisation is especially important for all people of any age with chronic conditions such as kidney conditions, people 65 years and over, pregnant women and young children as they are at a higher risk of complications when they get flu.

Free flu shots are available for eligible adults and children six months and older from April to December 31 each year. However, now is the best time to get your annual flu shot so you're protected before flu season strikes.

The two funded flu vaccines this year will contain four inactivated virus strains, specially formulated for the New Zealand 2019 season.

Flu can be anywhere, so you can easily catch it. Even if your kidney condition is well managed, being fit and healthy will not always protect you from flu.

Immunisation is the best protection against influenza.  Even if you still catch the flu after immunisation, your symptoms are less likely to be severe. What’s more having a flu shot every year can keep people 65 and over healthy and active for longer.

Influenza is not the same as a cold. It is a more serious disease that can also make other existing conditions, such as kidney disease, worse.

Get immunised to stop the spread of flu around your community.  Even if you don’t feel sick, you could still be infected with the virus and pass it on to others.  

Please note, flu immunisation from your practice nurse or doctor is free for people with kidney conditions. If, however, you have a consultation or check-up with your doctor at the same time, a consultation fee may apply.

The influenza vaccine is a prescription medicine. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about the benefits and possible risks. And, if you’re between 65 and 80 years old, ask if you’re also eligible for free shingles immunisation.

Check out to find out whether you qualify for free flu immunisation or call 0800 IMMUNE 0800 466 863.


Ends            Media Contact:  Brenda Saunders 021 777 171.

[1] The article, entitled "Excess Deaths Attributable to Influenza-Like Illness in the End-Stage Renal Disease Population," appears online at doi: 10.1681/ASN.2018060581.



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