Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Cllr Anne Murphy, suffers with kidney disease caused by type 1 diabetes which she has suffered with since the age of eight.
Councillor Murphy has been under the care of the Renal Department at the Northern General Hospital since 1996, and during that time has undergone dialysis and two kidney transplants.
She said: “I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1972. I had symptoms for quite a while, but back in the 70s it wasn’t an illness people knew a lot about. Type 1 diabetes is a serious disease which leads to other problems, one being renal failure. In 1996 I was suffering with pain around my stomach, which led to a hospital admission.
“Specialists found my kidney function wasn’t as good as it should be. I was also anaemic, and always felt tired, but due to work demands I just put it down to that. At this point I was placed under specialist care at the Northern General Hospital.
“My kidneys didn’t fail until 2005 and I lasted 10 years without dialysis, despite recommendations from my consultant. When I had no other choice, I was only on dialysis for three weeks, when I was referred to Manchester Royal Infirmary for a kidney and pancreas transplant.
“The donor kidney worked straight away, and lasted for 10 years, but unfortunately failed again in 2015. This time I was on dialysis for 15 months, but I was lucky as I was Deputy Lord Mayor at the time, so I had the flexibility to organise my day around dialysis. I used the time for answering emails and doing office administration.
“Then in January last year, my brother put himself forward to be a donor. He was a perfect match- it is as though we were twins. After the transplant, which I had in January this year, I was discharged within five days, and became Lord Mayor in May.
“I have been incredibly fortunate. I don’t let any illness get in my way. I get on with life as much as possible. I’m an independent woman and carried on with life, including taking holidays as much as possible.
“For a lot suffering with kidney disease, it’s not the same journey. Many can’t work as they are so unwell. Every case is different. I’ve also got good family support, others don’t.
“Sheffield should be very proud of its renal unit. The quality of staff is incredible. If we can fundraise, we can improve people’s quality of life. I would like to be able to give something back – and thank them for putting up with me!”
As well as naming Sheffield Hospitals Charity as one of her charities of the year, Councillor Murphy is backing one of its flagship events - Walk for Wards.
She will attend the event, a sponsored ramble, involving a five or 10 kilometre Peak District hike on Sunday 10 September 2017.
Sheffield Hospitals Charity funding helps to improve renal patients' experience, by improving clinical areas including dialysis units and wards.
Funds have paid for some of the department’s laboratory scientists and materials, allowing the investigation of the development and treatment of polycystic kidney disease - the most common inherited kidney disease that often leads to kidney failure and the need for dialysis or a transplant.
The Renal Department has also been able to train several young doctors in research and funded a post that helped Dr Fotheringham, now a renal consultant in Sheffield, to develop work that led to the award of a major national grant to continue his work on improving dialysis treatment. This research has been recognised nationally and internationally.
To donate to help improve the lives of people with kidney disease, visit www.sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/why-help-patients/kidney-disease