Town invite guests affected by organ and stem cell donation to ‘Give and Let Live’ match
Huddersfield Town has invited a number of special guests to the ‘Give and Let Live’ game on Friday 27 April; British Transplant Games athletes Mark and James Brown and Huddersfield family, the Edwards.
The Brown brothers from Lindley have both undergone kidney transplants, Mark in 1994 after being diagnosed with the hereditary Alports syndrome as a young man, and James in 2003.
Both competed in this year’s Westfield Health British Transplant Games, 35 year old James in the 100 meters and archery, and 46 year old Mark in the archery, bowls, darts and javelin.
James made the final of the 100 meters finishing 6th in a close fought race & Mark made the final in the darts coming home with silver in a cracking final, and he also picked up bronze in the bowls. Mark has previously taken part in winter competitions, being chosen to compete in the 23-stong UK team in the 2012 Winter World Transplant Games, coming back with a gold medal in the curling.
James told htafc.com about some of the struggles he faced before his kidney transplant: “The condition gradually affects young males as they grow older and by my mid-20s I was in a bad way.
“There was treatment three times a week, which was tiring, but after the transplant at St James’ in 2003 I felt great.
"The Give & Let Live Organ Donation drive is all about awareness that yourself & members of your family can help people who need to receive organ donation to live a better life, it's one of the greatest things you can do to help others."
More than 10,000 people in the UK are currently waiting for a transplant and, sadly, three people die waiting every day.
To add your name to the NHS Organ Donor Register call 0300 1232323, text SAVE to 84118 or visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk
Sophie Edwards (pictured), her parents Andrew and Emma and brother Sam have also been invited to Friday night’s game as Town aims to raise awareness of the ‘Give and Let Live’ campaign.
Emma, of Newsome, recently called on people to join the Anthony Nolan register after pioneering treatment using stem cells from an unknown donor saved the life of her daughter Sophie.
Sophie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), in February 2008 at the age of seven.
One night, Emma noticed Sophie had developed red spots on her skin and, fearing her daughter had meningitis, rushed her to hospital.
Blood tests confirmed that Sophie had ALL, as a result of a faulty gene, the Philadelphia Chromosome. Her parents were told that a bone marrow transplant was Sophie’s only chance of a cure.
Sophie had to undergo chemotherapy, waiting for Anthony Nolan to find her a lifesaving donor. A match was found, the transplant took place at Leeds General Infirmary and she was home for Christmas.
But the transplant failed and in the New Year Sophie was deteriorating rapidly. With no time for Anthony Nolan to find another donor the family were offered a pioneering treatment.
Emma said: “They sat me and my husband down and explained that this was a new treatment, never before done on a child.
“The initial donation had produced more stem cells than they needed so they’d kept some back. There was no time to treat the cells before they were put into Sophie, so the whole procedure was incredibly risky.
“But to us there was no decision; it was this or losing our little girl.”
Sophie pulled through and was able to return to school part-time in April 2010, after missing nearly two-and-a-half years of education while she underwent her treatment in hospital. She is now doing fantastically well at Honley High School!
To join the Anthony Nolan register, donors need to be between the ages of 16-30 and in good health. All potential donors stay on the register until the age of 60 and may be called to donate at any point during this time.