“I FIGHT DAILY FOR MY LIFE. I DON’T WANT IT TO END; I’M TOO YOUNG.”
Vanya Reid is a 39-year-old woman of mixed-race heritage who is in desperate need of a double organ transplant (kidney and pancreas) to save her life. Diagnosed with diabetes at just 17 years old, Vanya is now living her life under 24-hour home care, facing a multitude of health issues which has left her partially blind.
In her attempt to help save her life and the life of others who are in desperate need of an organ donor transplant, Vanya is working with blood cancer charity ACLT (African Caribbean Leukaemia Trust) to raise awareness and encourage black and mixed race people to join the Organ Donor Register.
In 1994 Vanya was diagnosed as a Type 1 Diabetic after she collapsed and passed out. Before this, she was a healthy young teenager. Vanya was immediately admitted to the hospital and remained as an in-patient for over two months while she came to terms with her prognosis and the change it would have on her young life going forward.
As many teenagers do, Vanya struggled to manage her diabetes day-to-day. She was without the knowledge and skills to take control of her illness so she could live well and avoid future complications. To make matters worse, Vanya entered a bad relationship which contributed to her stress levels and eventually added to her deteriorating health.
Vanya continues to battle with her health, suffering from dramatic weight loss, insomnia, high blood pressure, constant water retention and nausea. To add, Vanya now receives regular blood transfusions iron infusions alongside dialysis. However, it was last year when she received the news from her doctors that she was diagnosed with kidney disease, and she would require a double organ transplant to help save her life.
Despite her continuous health battles, Vanya is determined to do what she can to encourage more people from the black and mixed raced community to join the Organ Donor Register.
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