22-year-old waiting for second life-saving transplant urges people of Leeds to back appeal amid Transplant Games

A brave young woman waiting for her second kidney transplant is backing Leeds Hospitals Charity’s new fundraising appeal to help families further - launching ahead of the British Transplant Games coming to Leeds this weekend.

Monday, 25th July 2022, 4:30 pm
Updated Monday, 25th July 2022, 8:50 pm

Megan Rose, 22, was diagnosed with stage four kidney disease at just 13 years old.

She spent several years in and out of hospital and missed her school prom and leaving events.

Unfortunately, Megan was recently given the devastating news her donor kidney was failing.

Megan Rose, 22, was diagnosed with stage four kidney disease at just 13 years old.

Courageous Megan is now on life-saving dialysis but refuses to let her diagnosis defeat her.

There are around 5,000 people like Megan waiting for a kidney transplant in the UK, with many unable to receive a live kidney from friends or family.

Now, Megan is backing the charity's fundraising appeal to be able to offer more support for families in the future.

Megan’s teenage years were very different to her school friends.

Megan Rose, 22, was diagnosed with stage four kidney disease at just 13 years old.

She remembers feeling devastated to miss out on experiencing a ‘normal’ school life.

“I had to sit my GCSEs in a hospital isolation room", Megan said.

"I missed out on my school prom.

"I didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye to my friends on our last day of school.

"My life completely changed.”

In 2015 Megan finally had her life-saving transplant and was able to work full-time, move into her own place and enjoy time with her friends and family.

However, in 2021 Megan began to feel unwell and was told the heart-breaking news that her body had started to reject her donor kidney.

Megan, from Leeds, now has to have four-hour dialysis treatment, three times a week to keep her alive.

Although she’s grateful for this treatment she also feels like it has ruined her life, as she completely lost her independence.

“I felt like my life was over and I had no one to turn to", she said.

"I was let go from my job, had to sell my car, and move back in with my parents, it was devastating.

"Suddenly it was back to attending long appointments and draining weekly treatment.”

The charity hopes to fund more support for young people waiting for a transplant in Leeds, including a dedicated youth worker to support children and young adults, aged 13 to 25, who are waiting for a transplant at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

Emily Slatter, Young Adult and Transition Specialist on the Renal Unit recognises the need for additional support for young people on the transplant waiting list.

The unit cares for 103 young adults with kidney disease like Megan, and this number rises every year, with 42 new patients expected in the next 12 to 18 months.

Emily has seen first-hand the difference donations to Leeds Hospitals Charity has made.

She told the YEP: “Just recently the charity has funded a fund a pioneering clinical trial, for kidney transplant patients right here in Leeds looking into how pumping oxygen into the donor kidney, can help preserve its condition before a transplant.

“Thanks to your generous support we’ve also been able to provide this lifesaving research and cutting-edge medical equipment, but we still need your help to support young patients like Megan. So much about the treatment and transplant is completely out of their control.”

You can donate to Leeds Hospitals Charity’s Transplant Appeal by clicking here.

The British Transplant Games are a celebration of life and the joy of being active and healthy for transplant recipients and their families.

‘Team Leeds’ is made up of the Leeds Children’s and Adult’s Transplant Teams, who have been the recipients of organ and bone marrow transplantation and come together to compete at the Games every Summer.

After years of illness and overcoming hurdles in life, members of the team will be representing Leeds during four days of competitive sporting events, including track and field, swimming and cycling.

Esther Wakeman, chief executive of Leeds Hospitals Charity, said: “We’re so excited for the British Transplant Games to take place in Leeds. It’s great to see so many patients, NHS staff and transplant families coming together in the lead up to the Games to help raise funds and awareness. Leeds Hospitals Charity is incredibly proud to support ‘Team Leeds’ at the Games each year, and we hope it’s going to be the biggest and best event yet!"