Simon Cowell backs Yorkshire teenager's desperate search for lifesaving kidney donor

A desperately-ill Yorkshire teenager's search to find a lifesaving kidney donor has won high-profile support from TV star Simon Cowell.

Abi Longfellow.

Abi Longfellow, 15, from Robin Hood, near Leeds, suffers from a 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.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But, more than a year on, a suitable match has yet to be found and, with time now running out, Cowell has added his voice to the appeals made by the Longfellow family in recent weeks for potential donors to come forward.

He told The Sunday People: “Abi Longfellow is a true fighter. If anyone believes they are a match, please do consider coming forward to help this brave young woman.”

Praising Cowell for his support, Abi’s mum, Jo, today told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “It is so lovely that Simon would care enough to help someone who he doesn’t know.

“I have no doubt he would love Abi to bits if he met her – she’s a good soul with a huge heart.”

Jo said her daughter had been “amazed” when she heard about Cowell’s backing.

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.

Jo would normally be a suitable match for her daughter but in a sad 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.