Kidney transplant survivor Dave is named as one of county’s top dads

Dave with his seven-year-old son Archie.
Dave with his seven-year-old son Archie.

A father-of five who has recently undergone a kidney transplant has been surprised with a special father’s day treat.

Whalley businessman Dave Finch (42) was nominated by his wife for a chance to win a Father’s Day pie from Clayton Park Bakery in a competition to find Lancashire’s top dad.

Melanie nominated Dave for always being there for her and their children whilst also undergoing treatment for renal failure.

Dave, who owns picture frame business Artisan One in Back King Street in Whalley, was diagnosed with the condition in 2010 shortly after he and Melanie had their first child.

Following the diagnosis, he was put on steroids and other medication in an attempt to improve his kidney function. However, two-years ago his condition deteriorated and he was put on the transplant waiting list.

Family members were tested but were not suitable. On May 17th they received a call from Manchester Infirmary to say that a donor kidney was available and Dave underwent the transplant the next day.

Melanie said: “When we first found out that he had renal failure it was a real shock. He hadn’t been ill, but had been quite tired which we put down to having a new baby.

“We found out that he had sarcoidosis, an autoimmune disease that caused chronic kidney disease. His kidney function began to fail and he was put on medication. Doctors didn’t think he would need a transplant for 10 to 15 years but three years ago they found that his condition had started to decline again.

Even though he hasn’t seemed ill to look at, he really struggled with tiredness and wasn’t well enough to take part in normal activities that days do with their children like playing football.

“He was also on a restricted diet as certain foods and drinks can affect kidney function. This included tomatoes, mushrooms, bananas, cola, Guinness and pastry. But despite everything he doesn’t complain and is always there for me and our children.”

Dave is now finally able to enjoy his favourite foods again – such as pie.

Melanie has been fundraising for Kidney Research UK and raised £2,500 by walking the Yorkshire Three Peaks in May, while her friends at Clayton couch to 5k group took part in Run a Marathon in May raising money for Kidney Research UK on Dave’s behalf.

She added: “It’s really important that people have the conversation about organ donation so their loved ones know their wishes if anything were to happen.”

Dave, who is father to Gabby (18), Archie (seven), and step-father to Mollie (17), Josh (20) and Jack (21), said: “I was surprised to be nominated. After being on a restricted diet for so long I didn’t think I’d be able to eat pies again.

“I was thrilled to bits to have been chosen as the winner and hope that my story raises awareness of the need for organ donors.”

Barry Thomas Managing Director of Clayton Park Bakery, which has factories in Clayton-le-Moors and Huncoat, said: “Dave is a very deserving winner of our Father’s Day competition. I am delighted that he has enjoyed his special treat especially after not being able to enjoy a pie for so long. We wish him all the best for the future and hope he continues to enjoy our products.”