Courageous mum of popular Reedley chef donates her kidney four years after her son's death

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The mum of a courageous and caring young man, who died of a brain tumour and renal failure at the age of 27, has spoken about her decision to donate one of her own kidneys.

Fiona King is is waiting to hear if she has been paired with a recipient after making the selfless decision to donate one of her kidneys, almost four years after she lost her son Ben.

She did try to donate a kidney to Ben when he was ill but it couldn't happen as he was diagnosed with cancer and medical protocol states that if you have the disease you are unable to have a transplant. Ben could not have chemotherapy either as he was in renal failure.

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Fiona said: "This just feels like the right thing to do, to help another family who is experiencing the same pain that we have.

Fiona and Dave proudly hold a photograph of their much loved son Ben, surrounded by supporters and ambassadors at the BK's Heroes charity information dayFiona and Dave proudly hold a photograph of their much loved son Ben, surrounded by supporters and ambassadors at the BK's Heroes charity information day
Fiona and Dave proudly hold a photograph of their much loved son Ben, surrounded by supporters and ambassadors at the BK's Heroes charity information day | jpimedia

"I won't find out who the recipient is but the main reason for this is to give someone a better quality of life.

"I am excited and not scared or nervous at all."

Fiona said she believed that Ben would be happy with her decision adding: "Ben knew first hand the devastating effect living with kidney failure has on a person and their family.

"I know he would be in total agreement with what I am doing."

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Inspirational Ben suffered with kidney problems from the age of five but he refused to let this hold him back in life.

A former Nelson and Colne College catering student, who had worked at the Sparrowhawk in Fence and the ACE Centre in Nelson, Ben received a kidney from his dad Dave when he was 17 and only discovered he had cancer several years later when it started to show signs of failure.

Fiona and Dave, who live in Reedley, are trustees of BK's Heroes, the charity that was set up by Ben himself who dreamed of raising £10,000 each for brain and kidney disease charities. Sadly he only managed to get to half that total before his death.

But what a fantastic legacy Ben has left, for in just four years the charity has raised the staggering total of £156,000 thanks to generous donations from charity 'heroes' and also fund raising events including a glittering masquerade ball held in November at Burnley Football Club that raised £5,000.

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Due to its success the charity has taken on board five ambassadors, all volunteers, who will help to bring in more funds and drive the charity forward.

Cash raised by the charity has been used to fund research programmes into brain tumours at UCLAN Preston and Preston Royal Hospital as well as a Renal Research Nurse at Preston Royal Hospital.

The charity has also donated fans, radios, and DVD players for patients at the renal, neuro and major trauma units at Preston Royal Hospital; toiletries for patients admitted as emergencies and the most recent was a remote-controlled car to Manchester Children's Hospital for youngsters to drive on their way to theatre to make the process slightly less frightening.

BK's Heroes has also helped families suffering with either brain or kidney disease by providing equipment, financial help, and support. Paul Hayes, who made friends with Ben while they went through treatment together at the Royal Preston, said he did not know how he would have coped without the charity.

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Paul was one of the speakers at the charity's first information day held at Marsden Park Golf Club in Nelson.

Held to help raise awareness of the charity and its work and get more 'heroes' on board the day's other speakers included four members of staff from the Royal Preston Hospital who were Natasha Moss who is the ward sister at the major trauma unit, Dr Taha Lilo who is from the neuro department and Nichola Verstraelen who is the clinical team lead at the clinical research facility and transplant sister Lindsay Rushton. Dr Chris Smith from UCLan also spoke at the information day.

Speaking about the aim of the information day Dave said: " We are keen to spread the word about the charity and encourage business owners and their staff who have philanthropic aims to become part of BK's Heroes journey

"This is a family run charity and every single penny donated goes to help those who need it.

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"We had a fantastic response to the day with some amazing feedback and some more heroes on board."

If anyone would like to contact the charity they can email [email protected] or visit the website

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