Who we are

Patient Representatives

Introducing our 2 Patient Representatives

Vicky Larkin

My name’s Vicky and I was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome when I was six. I was put straight on steroids and penicillin and spent many years in and out of hospital after numerous relapses. I missed out on lots of things including school and spending time with friends which was of course very frustrating. I put on lots of weight from the steroids and hated people staring at me and making me feel self-conscious. I used to cry at night when I had to do a urine test in case I saw green on the stick indicating there was protein in my urine.

I was on steroids for over six years but after my body started to become unresponsive to them, I was referred to Great Ormond Street Hospital where a kidney transplant seemed the only option. However, luckily for me, my consultant decided to try one last thing – a drug that had been tested in America called Levamizole. Even though I had to have weekly blood checks, it was my wonder drug! Over my teenage years my relapses became a lot less frequent and, touch wood, I haven’t had one for over twelve years now.

Last year in April 2014, I ran the London Marathon for Kids Kidney Research. With the help and support of my incredible friends and family, I managed to cross the finish line in 5 hours 12 minutes and raise over £3000 for Kids Kidney Research. I could never have imagined all those years ago that I would one day be healthy enough to even think about taking part, yet only complete the London Marathon!

If you have any questions about my experiences living with a kidney illness, please feel free to email me: vicky@kidskidneyresearch.org

 

Darren Ferguson

My name is Darren Ferguson, I am 34 years old. I was born with Chronic Kidney Renal failure. Most of my childhood was spent in Great Ormond Street Hospital where I faced many challenges, not just with my health, but growing up I just wanted to be a normal person, do normal things like go to school, play football but at times my health didn’t allow me to. My first surgery was at five weeks old which was the first of many.

I have been on Haemo-dialysis, I have been on CAPD dialysis, I have had numerous kidney transplants which failed for various reasons, and didn’t ever think I would get my life back when my last one failed but after a long wait I was able to get a kidney through a live donor.

After many years of dealing with chronic failure I want to give back as much as I can. When I was going through these challenges, I always had a good network of support, never feel you are alone, there are people who care and want to help.

Feel free to email me anytime :   darren@kidskidneyresearch.org