Brave ‘kidney kid’ Ross Fraser is testament to the amazing work national charity Kidney Kids Scotland does.
The 11-year-old was born with serious renal problems - and battled through a dozen operations before being given a new kidney - donated by his dad - last June.
He faces more surgery this month - but after that hopes he will be able to stay away from Yorkhill Hospital for Sick Children in Glasgow for a while and get on with enjoying school, playing football with his twin brother, Lewis, and their mates and doing more of what other boys his age do!
The challenges he and his parents have gone through since 2003 with the support of KKS underlines the wonderful work it does helping hundreds of children just like him.
Ross’s mum and dad, Melissa and Robert, and big sister Kirsty all value the support KKS has provided them over the years.
Melissa was just months into her pregnancy when she was given news no mum-to-be wants to hear.
A routine scan by doctors at the Queen Mother’s Hospital in Glasgow revealed Ross had a problem with his kidneys.
She had only been carrying her babies for 16 weeks - and the devastating information threw her and close family into an emotional turmoil about what to do next and confused about what the future held.
But Kidney Kids Scotland was with them every step of the difficult journey that saw Ross and Lewis safely delivered on June 1 that year.
When Ross goes back to Yorkhill in a few weeks’ time the family will once again be reassured that Kidney Kids Scotland will be there for them - just as they always have been over the years.
Last year Melissa (44) took early retirement from the Ministry of Defence where she worked as an administrative assistant and has now become a champion fundraiser.
So far her efforts have raised £45,000 - but this week she made it clear she is ready to do more!
She explained: “At the start of Ross’s journey we went through a rollercoaster of emotions. It was a very stressful time, but with the support of Kidney Kids and the superb medical team at the Queen Mum’s we were able to get through by focusing on one day at a time and taking the positives from a negative situation.
“Today it’s still a hard and difficult road we are on, but Kidney Kids has been with us every step of the way. Their support has been invaluable, keeping us strong as a family throughout it all.
“The work they do just can’t be overstated. The energy they put into fundraising to provide not just medical equipment but also to support families financially, and the effort they put into reassuring the children and their parents when they need it most is tremendous.
“The value of the events they organise like the family weekend bring so many benefits, not just for the mums and dads, but the siblings involved who also find it difficult to cope with the fact a brother or sister is ill.
“When Ross was a baby and attending Yorkhill’s renal unit, Kidney Kids became a very important part of our lives. I vowed then when I had the time I would repay that kindness by doing what I could so support their work because over the years I have seen the difference KKS has made to so many families in the same situation as us.
“They are always there when you need them most and I’m just pleased I have the time to be part of it because it is just so worthwhile to be able to give something back.”