Anyone who has visited our offices will have noticed the striking ‘Rose of Hope’ display in our reception area. Many of you will be aware of the meaning behind the piece, but for those who aren’t you can read all about it in one of our previous blog posts.
We decided to support the charity Bloomin Yorkshire after meeting its founder Janice. Janice has had problems with her kidneys since her childhood and by her mid 40’s she had complete kidney failure. She started on dialysis in 2009 and it’s gruelling effects led to her having to sell her Deli business in Leeds. Septicaemia, organ failure and a coma followed before Janice had two failed kidney transplants.
The average lifespan of a person on dialysis is 5-10 years so when I saw Janice at the unveiling of our 'Rose of Hope' display I was heartbroken to hear that Janice had been told she likely only had 18-24 months to live and the chances of her getting another kidney being 1 in 10,000. Despite this news Janice remained incredibly upbeat with a passion for life and truly lived each day like it was her last.
You can imagine my delight when a couple of months later I received a message from Janice to say a kidney had been found that was a perfect match and she was recovering well after a successful transplant! Earlier this year Janice came into the office for a coffee and a catch up and it was incredible to see her looking so, so well.
Life is very much looking up for Janice and she is enjoying every minute of it. She has enjoyed a holiday in Portugal, a friend's wedding in Spain and, along with her husband, they have bought their dream project house. If this wasn't enough to keep her busy she has a new puppy Stanely who she enjoys long daily walks with..
She is also looking to get back into catering and is enjoying being able to eat a normal diet again. While on dialysis, Janice could only eat a very limited amount of meat, fish, fruit and veg or dairy so her diet was quite carb heavy. As you can imagine, for someone who had worked in the food industry for so long, this lack of variety was excruciating. She was also extremely limited on her fluid intake so is enjoying her wine now!
As for what is next for Bloomin Yorkshire, the future is unclear. Previously the focus has been around getting people to join the organ donor register but with the upcoming change in legislation and the opt-out system it means the need to promote organ donation is not required in the same way. There is an extreme shortage of dialysis units in Leeds so the new direction may be to help raise funds or to lobby parliament. Look out number 10, Janice is coming!