Kidney kid's 'gift of life' from grandma
A seriously-ill young woman is being given the gift of a new life – a kidney from her "amazing" grandma.
Alex Ralphs, 20, has suffered from kidney problems for years and underwent a transplant in 2010, but her body rejected the organ.
Now, it has been confirmed her maternal grandmother, Christine, 61, is a suitable donor, and the pair will undergo surgery at Queen's Medical Centre, in Nottingham, on Wednesday, October 17.
Alex, from Coalville, said: "I'm so grateful to her for giving me this gift of life. She is an amazing woman.
"I know my grandma is scared, although she won't say it to me, but she has also said she is happy to help.
"My biggest worry is the kidney will fail and I will feel I have let her down.
"She's one of the people I am closest to, but I'm not one to bare all my thoughts, so there are quite a few things we haven't talked about."
Alex said she found out last week that the operations were going ahead.
"I have a really good feeling that this time the transplant will go well," she said.
"I think, 'bring it on, I will deal with it'."
Alex has suffered from kidney problems since she was a child and her health deteriorated to the point where she had to have dialysis every night.
She was put on the transplant list just before her 18th birthday and a new kidney was found. However, doctors discovered half the transplanted kidney had died and the other half was slowly dying.
Now, she has only half a working kidney.
Alex said: "I have had my ups and downs. I have been feeling more tired than usual but I am glad I have managed without dialysis.
"I have been in hospital a couple of times over the past year, but I have managed to keep working a couple of times a week at a pub in Whitwick.
"It's good to get out and to feel normal."
The self-titled "kidney kid" began an internet blog to document her life two years ago as she waited for a kidney donor.
She wanted to record her day-to-day experiences to help others and to raise awareness of what people like her were facing.
Alex has now set up a new blog to document the lead up to her second transplant.
She said: "I want to write, step by step, what I am going through. I am hoping it will get more people to speak up.
"I met someone who knew I was 'the kidney kid', which was a shock, but he told me he had been through the same thing."
Alex's new blog can be found at: alexthekidneykid.blogspot.co.uk/