survivor come driving force
Maddy has kept herself alive managing her own kidney dialysis at home for 21 years since she was 14 years old, due to having an untreatable auto-immune condition which means she cannot have a kidney transplant. Alongside her dialysis and running her own consultancy, she dedicates all her spare time, energy and passion to the kidney community as a patient leader, peer educator, campaigner and public speaker, including two Tedx talks about dialysis. She is a member of Fireﬂies, a women’s formation skydiving team and in 2018 was the ﬁrst woman on dialysis to complete the London Marathon.
“I find it a fascinating and humbling fact that the only reason any of us kidney patients are here is due to remarkable scientific advances and to the skill and compassion of incredible healthcare professionals. Surviving on dialysis or receiving a donated organ are both unprecedented experiences which fundamentally shape your values, perspective and life choices. My own circumstances have driven me to live every day to the full and have taught me to have a deep gratitude for the smallest things. Having spent over half of my life peer supporting my fellow patients and campaigning for improvements in care, research and better awareness of kidney disease, I am so excited to see our Survivors project become a reality."
inﬂuencer through imagery
Richard stumbled across a lost camera as an 8 year old and after handing it in to the police he had it returned when it remained unclaimed. This sparked a life long passion for images and he is now a globally renowned photographer who specialises in creating authentic, thought provoking imagery which can connect on an emotional level – he developed the idea for Survivors: Life Unﬁltered by drawing on his extensive experiences using photography to inﬂuence the viewer, to challenge stereotypes, create a long lasting impact and to engage with “non typical” audiences.
Richard was commissioned as an ofﬁcial Olympic artist for London 2012 which culminated in the award winning book ‘Power and Movement – Portraits of Britain’s Paralympic athletes’. Giving an insight into the skill, poise and strength of Paralympic athletes, his evocative photography redeﬁned traditional perceptions of disability, ﬁtness and power.
Upon learning about kidney disease and its life changing, often devastating impact, he was inspired to explore a unique visual approach to portraying the dual realities of those affected.
Our aim is to inspire, provoke and educate. Few people understand what it is like to rely on a dialysis machine to stay alive, or to survive due to the immeasurable humanity of an organ donor. Improving understanding of kidney health is critical for prevention and better management, but traditional approaches to raising awareness have not always been successful so the Survivors project takes a uniquely creative approach to this not insignificant challenge.