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Charlie transformed into a doll as part of child transplant campaign

01 December 2023

Charlie is one of many children waiting for life-saving organ transplants this Christmas. Now 13 years old, Charlie has been on the waiting list to receive a kidney transplant for two years since his body went into kidney failure in 2021. Since then, dialysis has been a necessity to keep him alive. 

There are more than 230 children in the UK who urgently require an organ transplant to transform their lives. However, there is currently a significant lack of child organ donors, meaning the wait goes on for many families.  

To raise awareness of the need for more child organ donors, Charlie has joined the Waiting to Live NHS organ donation campaign. The campaign features handmade dolls representing real children needing a transplant, and one has been made to represent Charlie. 

A sewn doll of a little boy sitting on a chair in hospital waiting room
Charlie's doll

Where can you see Charlie’s doll?

Charlie’s doll is one of many which will be featured across the country as part of the Waiting to Live campaign, encouraging parents and families to consider registering themselves and their children as organ donors.  

Each doll is wearing a badge with a QR code that people can scan to hear inspiring stories of the children waiting for transplants.  

Charlie’s doll will be joining us at several different Kidney Research UK events over the coming weeks to meet supporters and spread his important message.  

What’s next for Charlie?

You may remember Charlie’s story, which we shared last year, as Charlie and his mum, Melina, passionately support research into transforming treatments for people living with kidney disease. 

Both Melina and Charlie’s father were desperate to be a living kidney donor for Charlie but unfortunately neither is able to do so. Over the past year, Charlie has continued waiting for his transplant and has remained on dialysis which has taken away his ability to do many of the things he loves.  

Activities like judo, scuba diving and rugby are still not possible, and Charlie is missing out on so many moments from his teenage years. Despite this, Charlie has shown incredible determination to share his story, fundraise for Kidney Research UK and transform future treatments for others. He remains hopeful that his transplant will happen soon and enable him to live his life to the fullest. 

Charlie sitting on a bench with his dog.
Charlie and his dog.

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