The Lord Mayor of Sheffield will speak out about her battle with serious kidney disease at a public awareness event hosted by Sheffield Hospitals Charity next week.
Councillor Anne Murphy has suffered with kidney disease caused by type 1 diabetes since the age of eight, and has undergone months of dialysis and two kidney transplants.
Her keynote address to mark World Kidney Day will cover her diagnosis and 45 year battle to prevent the condition dominating her life.
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.”
Sheffield Hospitals Charity is hosting two free events for World Kidney Day on Thursday 8 March at the Central United Reformed Church on Norfolk Street in the City Centre.
An interactive drop in session to find out more about kidney disease will be held between 2pm and 4pm. From 4.30pm to 7pm, there will be a public seminar with presentations, where there will be an opportunity to ask leading healthcare professionals and dietitians kidney related questions.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0114 226 6934. To donate to help improve the lives of people with kidney disease, visit https://www.sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/donate