A model is backing a campaign to raise awareness of kidney disease after having an organ removed last year
Jess Grief, 21, of Tilney Cum Islington, is supporting Kidney Research UK’s Missing Millions campaign to highlight one of the UK’s least known life threatening diseases.
Miss Grief’s left kidney was removed at Boston’s Pilgrim Hospital last year after doctors found that the organ was functioning at less than five per cent.
She was born with a narrow tube running between her kidney and bladder which meant the organ could not filter as well as it should have and slowly failed.
More than three million people in the UK are at risk of chronic kidney disease but only two million are registered with their GP.
Miss Grief, who works in medical research and is also a grid girl, is pleased to be backing the campaign.
She said: “I wanted to try and help other younger people to spot the signs, although there are not many noticeable ones. They can do a free health check on the website so they don’t suffer the same fate as me.”
Although being born with the narrow tube, Miss Grief began to suffer a series of infections and ended up in hospital in August 2012 after her kidney began to fail.
A series of scans and tests showed it was operating at less than five per cent and she finally underwent a keyhole operation in January last year.
Miss Grief, who volunteers as a community champion with the charity, said: “Thankfully it was pretty easy for me. I went in on the Wednesday and was out on the Friday.
“I was quite shocked that it had been allowed to fail by going undetected for all those years but I was relieved that there was light at the end of the tunnel.”
Kidney Research is looking to find the missing million by rasing awareness of kidney disease and the importance of an early diagnosis.
There are over 600 people in Norfolk on dialysis or waiting for a transplant and the number of patients presenting with kidney failure in the UK is rising by four per cent every year.
The number of people being treated for kidney failure in the UK has risen every year since 2006, with more than 55,000 patients now undergoing dialysis or receiving follow-on care for a transplant.
Kidney Research UK hopes the campaign will raise awareness of kidney disease, the importance of early diagnosis for those who are at greatest risk and help identify these undiagnosed patients.
People most likely to be at risk are those who suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease.
A ‘kidney health check’ at www.missingmillion.co.uk in order to help identify the ‘Missing Million’ of undiagnosed patients.