Courageous Yorkshire teenager Abi Longfellow has sent out a moving plea for help as she searches for a stranger prepared to make the organ donation sacrifice that will save her young life.
Desperately-ill Abi, 15, from Robin Hood, near Rothwell, suffers from an ultra-rare condition called Dense Deposit Disease (DDD) which stops her kidneys filtering waste from her blood.
She was placed on the waiting list for a kidney transplant after winning a fight for the NHS to fund her future treatment with a drug called eculizumab.
But, more than a year on, a suitable match has yet to be found and, with time now running out, Abi is urging people to come forward and see if they could be her lifesaving donor.
She said: “Please, please give me a chance of life.
“Give me a chance to escape all the dialysis and to look after myself.
“I know it’s a lot to ask of a total stranger but I want to live.”
Abi’s mum Jo would normally be a suitable donor for her daughter but in a cruel twist of fate cannot help as she herself suffers from a blood disorder.
Doctors initially hoped that Abi’s dad, Andy, might be a match but testing has raised fears that her body might reject his kidney.
Jo, 48, said today: “We are a proud but private Yorkshire family, who want nothing more than to give Abi our own kidneys.
“It is just devastating to be told this is not possible.
“She is a selfless young lady who does so much for others and it’s heartbreaking to hear her accept she may die young.
“Right now we are helpless other than to ask for help.”
Abi made headlines last year after persuading NHS England to cover the £137,000-a-year cost of post-transplant drug eculizumab.
Should she find the donor she needs, treatment with it will reduce the chances of her new organ being affected by DDD.
People willing to sign up as potential donors are asked to e-mail the renal transplant team at St James’s Hospital at Leedsthfirstname.lastname@example.org.