Inspirational women raise awareness of transplants in Chichester

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Two inspirational women spent a day raising awareness for organ transplants at Chichester College.

For Pam Nye and Lorraine Paxman it is a subject very close to their hearts as they understand first-hand the importance of organ donors. Pam spends nine hours each night on a dialysis machine fighting kidney failure as none of her family are compatible.

She said: “Only 29 per cent of people in the UK are on the transplant register.”

But, with 10,000 people on the waiting list and three sufferers dying every day, Pam said now is the time to join the organ donor list.

She added: “I’m worried every night I go to bed, I’m always waiting for the call.”

Lorraine’s son, Michael, caught a throat infection aged five, which led to kidney failure, but after continuous dialysis treatment and the removal of his spleen at 16, a miracle happened.

At the odds of 30,000-1, firefighter and father-of-two, Stuart Vince, was found to be a match for Michael and has completely changed the family’s life.

Now 20, Michael can live a normal life. In honour of the campaign, Stuart is running 11 marathons in 11 days and rowing 220 miles with one kidney.

The awareness event was part of The Big Donor Challenge and the women were hoping to encourage more donations and dispel any harmful myths students may have, such as age restrictions.

Jessica Dancy said: “I didn’t think I was old enough, but it’s great to know I can help.”

Other students were eager to support the cause.

Yaz Cooper, 18, said: “It only takes 30 seconds to sign up so there isn’t an excuse not to really.”

Shadee Bigham, 17, said: “When I die I’m not going to need my organs and it’ll help someone stay alive.”

Ashlei Boxall, 17, added: “I study biology at college so I know how it works and it does save lives,” while James Spratley, 19, said: “I’d like to think someone would do the same for me.”

See www.thebigdonorchallenge.co.uk for more information.