Bay musician’s brave fight remembered at walk
NOT MANY people would buy a horse float to cart their dialysis machine around.
But George McLean wasn't most people.
The Fraser Coast musician, who died last year after a long battle with kidney disease, fought against the illness right to the end, bravely making plans to travel across Australia though he knew the end was near.
His partner, Suzi Geddes, will take part in Hervey Bay's Big Red Kidney Walk on Sunday and she'll be thinking about George with every step she takes.
George found out he was ill when he had n ulcer on his leg that refused to heal.
When he went to the doctor, test results revealed terrible news - he was in the final stages of kidney failure and had less than 24 hours to live unless he received urgent treatment.
He began dialysis immediately, but George was determined to find a way to keep performing the music he loved.
He learned how to do dialysis at home and bought a horse float so he could cart his equipment around wherever he went.
In 2011 he received a kidney transplant, but a series of infections meant he was back on dialysis a few years later.
Even that set back didn't get him down.
"George always encouraged his fellow renal patients to go away on holidays," Suzi said.
"Kidney disease is tough on dialysis patients and treatment is usually three times a week, four to six hours per session."
The two loved to get away together and George would often book into other renal units so he and Suzi could hit the road.
George's dream was for Queensland to follow in the footsteps of Victoria and New South Wales, where two mobile dialysis buses operate.
"This is a world first providing haemodialysis treatment where people want to holiday," Suzi said.
He was working with Kidney Queensland, trying to make that a reality for other renal patients.
Registrations for the walk will open at 10am on Sunday at Scarness Park.
The cost is $15 and all funds go towards kidney disease research.