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The Rooney family have been through so much together.
Frank Rooney and his partner, Maryanne, first found out something was wrong with their sons' kidneys at the 20-week pregnancy scan. They were told that baby John Paul's kidneys had failed and failed isn't a word you want to hear as first time parents.
'I'm counting on researchers to find ways to make my little boy better'
"John Paul was diagnosed with a rare disease called prune belly syndrome. It affected his kidneys and bladder and it stopped his stomach muscles from developing. The valve that lets urine out of his kidney was blocked. John Paul’s first operation to unblock his urinary tract was a success and he began peeing. But the worry didn’t go away. There wasn’t a cure and was just the beginning.
"John Paul was on dialysis for three years before his transplant. Maryanne and I were both tested, and I was a 99% match. I felt like finally I could do something for him. I’m finally going to get to help him and give him a life.
"The transplant was a success but he will probably need several transplants in his life which is why I support research to end kidney disease for my little boy."
Frank Rooney, John Paul's dad.
Our wish is to restart new research soon...
...so brilliant people like Dr Emily Thompson can find ways to end the fear, anxiety and life-limiting nature of kidney disease.
You can make research happen
Dr Emily Thompson is a clinical research fellow at Newcastle University. She has just completed a groundbreaking, and prize-winning PhD research project that could help make many more donor kidneys available to people waiting for a transplant.
Today, more than 5,000 people are on the kidney transplant waiting list. They might have to wait years for a kidney to become available. Tragically, five people die every week waiting for a donor kidney.
"Normally you finish your PhD and there's another student waiting to take it one and move it forward. There is someone ready to continue my research, but he hasn't got the funding at the moment." Dr Emily Thompson
People like Emily are the beginning of the end for kidney disease. But if we can't fund their research, their innovative ideas will be lost. And so will the progress they would have made.
Help restart new research
The pandemic has caused a 50% drop in income, and we have had to stop funding any new research. Please make a special gift and help new research begin again as soon as possible. Thank you.