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The Inverness Courier, August 26th 2005

June McMIllan

Transplant Patient to blow the trumpet for kidney unit
A TRUMPETER who is soon to receive a transplant kidney donated by her mother has a strong incentive to make a swift recovery.
June McMillan plays with the Inverness big band Highland Swing and is arranging a charity concert early in the new year to raise money for Raigmore Hospital's renal unit where she has been treated.
It is typical of the 32-year-old who continues to enjoy canoeing, white-water kayaking and hillwalking despite her deteriorating condition.
Miss McMillan was born with a faulty renal flux valve and despite having an operation when she was aged eight to correct it, doctors believe her kidneys will fail completely by the end of the year.
"The best option is to do a pre-emptive transplant," she explained. "If I waited to go on to dialysis, it would get worse and worse. If I go on to dialysis, it is only going to make me artificially better. A transplant is the closest to getting a normal life."
Dialysis would also probably force her to give up work as a librarian and ICT administrator at Tain Royal Academy and move nearer her parents in Kirkintilloch, near Glasgow.
With only about 3,000 donor kidneys becoming available in Britain each year and tens of thousands of patients on the waiting list, Miss McMillan's best chance was if a family member proved to be a tissue match.
Her mother Betty agreed to undergo tests and was found to be compatible. Providing last minute cross-matching samples are positive, the transplant will go ahead at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in October.
"The operation will be worse for mum and she will probably have to be in hospital longer than me," Miss McMillan said.
"She has gone through major hurdles to get to this stage. She is going to have an operation she doesn't need. I am ill and going to be getting better after it.
"She is also claustrophobic and had to get an MRI scan as part of the tests which must be terrifying for someone who does not like closed spaces, but she was brilliant."
Miss McMillan, of Balintore, has no doubt she will be ready for next year's fund raiser. "I have a positive outlook on life," she said.
o Highland Swing is staging a charity concert on Friday 2nd September, at 7.30pm, at Tain Royal Academy, in aid of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary's renal unit.