My Kidney and Me Review: If You Want My Body..
Tom Cledwyn is a charismatic 26-year-old, who’s about to do something remarkable. He’s preparing to donate one of his kidneys, not to friend or a relative as you might expect, but to a stranger.
It’s an admirable thing to do, but those close to him are concerned, especially his mother. If Tom were her age, his decision might be easier to understand, but he’s still young she feels, with many years ahead of him. She dreads to think of the potential risks involved.
In Tom’s mind, however, there’s no doubt that what he’s doing is the right thing to do, and whether or not he knows the person who’ll get his kidney is irrelevant.
“If it went to someone who had done something terrible in their life or if it went to someone who had spent their life doing amazing things,” Tom explains, “then I wouldn’t feel any less or worse off.”
In My Kidney and Me we hear from his girlfriend, his flatmates and his drinking buddies, who are supportive, albeit understandably worried for Tom. We also learn how he was inspired to become a donor after his good friend died without warning, which has since touched his life in quite a profound way.
The success of the documentary is all down to Tom’s effortless likability. He’s thoughtful and personable, and his decision to go through with the operation is highly commendable, showing him to be mature far beyond his years. This is clearly not something that he’s rushing into.
The programme raises a number of important questions and examines the strain that such an act of generosity can place on a relationship. It’s an enlightening insight into what it means to be an altruistic donor and it makes for a fascinating thirty minutes of television.