My renal journey began in 2004 at the age of 24 when I woke up one morning with a migraine.

Over the next couple of days I began to feel worse and attended my doctor's three times before they sent me to the hospital as they were concerned about some abdominal pain I had. I can remember phoning work and saying "I feel like I am dying." 

The hospital ran blood tests which came back that my kidneys were failing and they gave me 24 hours to live.

I was put on haemodialysis but was not aware of anything at this point as I was just so unwell but somehow I made it through.

I had seven weeks of tests to see what caused my kidneys to fail whilst I recovered in hospital and eventually we had an answer. It was a rare disease known as atypical haemolytic uraemic syndrome (aHUS) and it affects only two people per million. Even though not much was known about the disease, they gave me the go ahead for a kidney transplant, which was donated by a family member. It was due to go ahead in December 2005 but sadly my dad passed away so we delayed it until January 2006.

The kidney worked instantly but after two weeks my blood tests showed that it was failing.

The aHUS I had originally been diagnosed with had returned and attacked this kidney also and there was no cure. After another seven weeks in hospital fighting for my life again I was sent home to continue on dialysis.

At this point it felt like my life had fallen apart. I could not see past the dialysis machine and how bad it made me feel. My partner left me, I lost my house, I was still grieving for my dad and I had cut back my hours at work in a job I loved.

I eventually adjusted to this new way of life and one day I found out I was pregnant. It was highly recommended not to go ahead with the pregnancy as the risks involved were so great. Fortunately, I can be stubborn and decided to go ahead anyway.

It was a gruelling seven months of six dialysis sessions a week, constant appointments and so much more. Eventually I collapsed due to high blood pressure and my beautiful Jasmine is now 13 and is as healthy as any other child which makes all the fighting I did worthwhile.

Around 2012 a revolutionary drug (Eculizumab) came to light that could switch off the aHUS if I was to have a working kidney.

I was put back on the transplant list but could only have a live donor as it involved a lot of planning.

Due to the change in law, I received a phone call (whilst on dialysis) offering me an altruistic kidney. I couldn't believe how lucky I was.

After six years of in-centre haemodialysis and four years at home, I was finally getting another shot at life. This was especially important as my consultant thought I would not live past 40.

I received the kidney in 2014 which has worked really well alongside the fortnightly infusion of Eculizumab.

My life has changed so much and I couldn't be more grateful. To help give something back I have recently been elected as the secretary of the North Staffs and South Cheshire Kidney Patients' Association, after being a member since 2014. I hope my experiences can help others with their renal journey.