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Your donations help save lives - Katherine's Story

K Paton 3

For some young girls, finding out you have kidney disease at age 14 would be the end of the world. But for 23-year old Katherine, the life-changing diagnosis hasn’t stopped her from living her life and achieving her dreams. A rhythmic gymnast since she was 12, Katherine will compete at the Australian Gymnastics Championships in Sydney at the end of May despite receiving daily kidney dialysis treatment. Katherine’s disease is caused by a genetic mutation that developed over time, not affecting her until her early teens. Following her diagnosis, Katherine spent six weeks in Starship Children’s Hospital and underwent countless tests, appointments and treatments. While Katherine was lucky enough to receive a kidney transplant from her mum just months after her diagnosis, it was only a short reprieve from her illness. After seven years living with her mum’s kidney, Katherine’s body rejected the organ, meaning it had to be removed to prevent it causing more problems. One of the side effects of her illness is anaemia, which means Katherine has a low iron in her blood. Anaemia has a range of side-effects including fatigue, but can be treated with regular blood transfusions which Katherine says are a life-saver.

“Receiving a blood transfusion not only helps me medically, it makes me feel so much better which is good for my mind too,” she says. “When I feel better, I am much more positive and able to live life to the fullest.”

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