THE crusade of a dedicated organ donor campaigner has been acknowledged with a top prize for the impact her work has had.
Twenty-one-year-old Holly Shaw, of Coppice Green, Kingswood, began her mission when she was diagnosed with kidney failure at the age of 17.
She will travel to the O2 Arena in London next month for the Vinspired National Awards after winning the north west’s shout award for her drive for the cause.
She said: “I’m very excited about going to the awards ceremony. I wasn’t expecting to win the regional prize, so this is fantastic news.
“At first I started campaigning to help my situation because I was waiting for a transplant so it was close to my heart.
“I was lucky, I could be kept alive by dialysis but others have to remain positive.”
Holly, a graduate in early childhood studies at the University of Chester, was nominated by Claire Britton, the university’s volunteer co-ordinator, for her courage and passion.
In October last year Holly received a life-changing call to say a match had been found.
Hours later she underwent the operation to transplant the kidney.
Holly said: “It is a surreal feeling.
“I have got my life back and I can socialise as much as I want. I have to go back to hospital every four weeks for checks but it is going well.
“Thanks to the generosity of the donor and their family, my life has changed and I can now enjoy these things.”
During a national donor day earlier this year, Holly appeared on GMTV and Sky News, and even received a personal message of support from Prime Minister Gordon Brown as her efforts prompted 3,200 people to sign up.
The PM also suggested a meeting at a later date to discuss her campaign further.
The former Great Sankey High School pupil hopes to work with children and become a teaching assistant but said she will continue her quest by working voluntarily as the region’s advocate for charity Live Life Then Give Life. The cause saves and improves the lives of those in need or receipts of organ and tissue transplants.
Next month she will take part in a charity abseil along with 46 people at Wirral’s Leasowe Lighthouse.