Kidney patient Yam Kwok-wing spends two days a week attached to a dialysis machine. Without it, he would be dead. His kidneys have shut down and haemodialysis by the so-called artificial kidney is the only way his body can rid itself of toxins. The 52-year-old former truck driver was diagnosed with end-stage kidney failure five years ago, a complication of diabetes which was diagnosed five years before that. He is one of 1,000 patients waiting for a donor kidney, and although his three sisters are willing to give him one of theirs, they too are afflicted with diabetes. Rather than let the disease rule his life, Mr Yam manages to stay active. He is a volunteer at a hospital and an elderly centre, does tai chi each morning, and plays ball games at weekends. He says he takes each day in his stride, hoping that some day a matched kidney will be found 'so I can live a new life'. Asked what will happen if one is not found, he just shrugs and smiles. He says he is more worried about his wife of 12 years, who is recovering from breast cancer, which was diagnosed about two years ago. 'It is like a double trauma for us,' he said. 'My wife and I support each other.' Mr Yam said that until his kidneys failed five years ago, he could still drive, despite the diabetes. But with end-stage kidney failure, he said he no longer had the energy to work. 'I felt very tired,' he said. 'I also had to stop swimming, which I used to like.' Doctors first put Mr Yam on peritoneal dialysis for three years, but an infection saw him switch to haemodialysis. While kidney patients can live for a long time waiting for transplants, it is a daily struggle. Infections remain a threat. Mr Yam also has to keep to a strict diet, eating little salt, no sugar, and fruit and vegetables in small amounts. He can only drink two cups of water a day. Despite his problems, he lives every day to the fullest. He even recently signed up as an organ donor, encouraged by the New Life Organ Donation Campaign. 'I want to make more of a contribution to society,' he said.