Christine Dowdell, September’s Member of the Month

Our FLexercise community is incredibly special and we’re constantly reminded of how extraordinary our members are, so each month we will be telling you about someone who has really inspired us and reminds us all just how important we are to each other.

This month, we have chosen to share Christine Dowdell’s story. She’s a member of Ash class in Surrey, taught by Alison Howard. Here is her story:

“My name is Christine. I am married with 3 children and 6 grandchildren and I am 70 years old. I have been a member of my local FLexercise class for four years now.

Two years ago, at the age of 68, I learnt at Church that John, a man in his early fifties and a friend, was suffering from a kidney disease and in need of a kidney transplant. I discovered that I have the right blood group and felt that it was easy to pray for people but maybe I could do more.

Following much discussion with my husband, I decided I really wanted to help. After talking to John he referred me to the Transplant website to get the ball rolling. Thankfully after several tests at St Helier hospital, it was found that I was a good match.

So, after a year of tests and many journeys to Carshalton Hospital, John and I underwent surgery. For myself all went well; I was off painkillers in a week and back to classes in a jiffy. My husband did all the chores (fabulous) and my family and friends were great.

While John did experience some complications, these were gradually resolved and I am pleased to say he returned to work in January.

People often ask if I am okay, and I wonder what they mean. Mostly I have forgotten about the operation and I feel exactly as I did before, but I feel privileged to have made such a difference to the life of someone else.

Some of it was scary because I don’t like hospitals, but in reality, I had nothing to fear.”