'No-one ever knew that I had been ill all my life'
A seriously-ill woman has thrown herself into fund-raising after her transplant operation was put on hold.
Alex Ralphs, 20, had been due to have a kidney transplant at the Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham, next Wednesday, after her maternal grandmother was found to be a suitable donor.
But a couple of weeks ago Alex, from Coalville, heard the operation was being postponed.
She said: "At first, I found it very difficult.
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"It had taken me quite a time to mentally prepare for the operation and then it was hard to find out it wasn't going to happen.
"But, I am hoping it will eventually go ahead, perhaps in a few months time."
Alex has suffered from kidney problems since she was a child and her health deteriorated so much that 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, soon after the operation doctors discovered that half the transplanted kidney had died and the other half was slowly dying.
She is now making do with only half a working kidney.
Alex said: "I have been feeling sick and very tired over the past few days because my kidney isn't working properly. It is good to have the fund-raising to focus on to stop me thinking about things."
She is now helping to organise a weekend of activities at the Three Crowns pub, in Whitwick, where she works.
Alex said: "We were trying to think of Hallowe'en ideas and I suggested we do it for charity as it would be something different and so all the money we raise will go to Kidney Research UK.
"It is something I have wanted to do for ages. It is not just about raising money but it is about raising awareness."
In the blog she set up to document the lead up to her second transplant, Alex said: "What's so funny about kidney failure is that no-one knows.
"No one knew that I was ill and that I had been all my life so when people found out they were all full of compliments such as 'I never knew you were ill'."
The Hallowe'en fund-raiser is planned for two days, starting on Friday, November 2.
Alex said: "It is fancy dress and there will be a disco and a load of pub games – we still have to get everything sorted.
"It is really good to have something to focus on and everyone thinks it is a good idea."
Alex's blog can be found at: