Beating a death sentence

Russell has helped more than 1,000 people in East Ren.
Russell has helped more than 1,000 people in East Ren.

IT’S been six very successful years of helping folk in East Renfrewshire, Russell MacMillan can give himself a well-deserved pat on the back.

Following his Christian beliefs, Russell created, with a few close friends, East Renfrewshire Good Causes as a way of paying back the community which had done so much for him.

And ERGC is celebrating helping an amazing 1,005 people in its six years. Added to that, Russell has also beaten type 1 diabetes.

Russell has coped with diabetes since being diagnosed with the condition at eight years old. It eventually costs Russell his sight and, as a result, his place at university.

But after receiving two organ donations, he beat the condition.

Russell told The Extra: “Beating type 1 diabetes for me was like having a death sentence lifted – without the transplant, I would have died through a hypo which leads to coma and then death if not rectified – with hypo symptoms, you are in constant danger.

“Being blind as a result of diabetes is hard, but having kidney failure on top of diabetes, makes you feel exhausted, even without the danger of death through a hypo/coma.

“I managed to keep on working, until four months prior to the life saving transplant – but I ended up sleeping 16 hours a day due to the combination of kidney failure, diabetes and blindness.

“Beating Diabetes is being given a second lease of life –

“How do you repay the lifting of a death sentence – you say thanks to God and you try and honour the memory of the organ donor.”

Russell sees the ability of reaching out and helping more than 1,000 people as a testament to the donors who saved his life.

He added: “Reaching the target has been an incredible effort of the whole community pulling together to make it happen.

“The Extra readers, the frontline teachers, occupational therapists, housing and homeless officers, health/care/social workers have provided the Knowledge of need – KoN. I encourage anyone to sign up to the organ donor register.”

“I would like to thank all involved in my quest to thank God & honour the memory of muy organ donor”