Special campervan which goes the extra mile for Christchurch kidney patients wins $15,000 upgrade

A kidney patient's selfless wish to do up a campervan with the potential to help many Kiwis has won Volkswagen's Labour of Love competition on Seven Sharp last night.

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Fifteen thousand dollars will go towards upgrading the vehicle which has a dialysis machine. Source: Seven Sharp

The show had tens of thousands of entries roll in, ranging from a backyard cricket pitch for a budding Black Cap to a state-of-the-art deck do-up for mum.

But there was one restoration project that caught the eye above the rest - and it's got the power to kick start new pathways for people up and down the country.

Claire Christie, a kidney patient, entered the competition in the hopes of getting the Christchurch Kidney Society's special campervan an upgrade.

The set of wheels comes with a dialysis machine which allows kidney patients the chance to enjoy some moments they thought they'd never be able to have again.

"Haemodialysis isn't portable," Christie told Seven Sharp.

"So this campervan gives us the opportunity to go away for more than one or two nights in a go. You can actually go away and have a holiday and not be confined to home or confined to a hospital needing dialysis.

"It opens up a whole other level of freedom for us to live life to the fullest."

The campervan can be rented for just $50 a day, with technicians from the hospital fitting the machines out.

However, despite the Society keeping up the van with costs covered by hire fees, Christie knew it needed some love.

Christie told Seven Sharp the seating, which doubles as a matress, is uncomfortable, the TV and fridge don't work, storage is lacking and the van is badly configured.

But that's all about to change thanks to her winning nomination. 

Christie, along with Viv Smith from the Christchurch Kidney Society, thought Seven Sharp was filming them to highlight the entry for the competition but little did they know, it was actually to celebrate a very special moment for kidney patients all around Christchurch.

Watch the video above to see the pair surprised with $15,000 to upgrade the precious vehicle which brings joy to so many and why it means so much to Christie.