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Singer Charlotte backing bid to find kidney donors

SCOTS singer Charlotte Gordon Cumming who, along with her husband, accidentally ate poisonous mushrooms four years ago, is urging people to consider live kidney donation.

The singer-songwriter, who ate the deadly webcap mushrooms along with her husband Nicholas Evans, author of The Horse Whisperer, her brother Sir Alastair Gordon Cumming and his wife, is performing a benefit concert in London on November 15 in aid of the charity Give a Kidney.

The charity aims to raise awareness of altruistic kidney donation – a living person donating a kidney to someone they do not know with kidney failure.

Ms Gordon Cumming, who received a kidney from a live donor three months ago, said: "There are so many people who would say 'I'd do it for my relations but for a stranger? I don't think so.' I understand that, of course I do, but it is possible to live a perfectly normal life with one kidney.

"There are 7000 people waiting for a kidney in this country. And anything we can do to highlight the situation is worth it."

Ms Gordon Cumming was donated a kidney by the mother of her son's best friend, after being kept alive by dialysis for several years. This will be her first concert since the operation.

She added: "The transplant went very smoothly. I was with my lovely donor, Serena. I was in hospital a week, which was pretty good going, and Serena was out in three days.

"It's uncomfortable and you're dealing with a large scar, but you wake up from it with a very positive feeling. Mainly, you just think 'Wow, no more dialysis'."

Ms Gordon Cumming also revealed her husband, who received a kidney from his daughter last year, had never been back to Altyre – her family's estate in Moray where the group ate the mushrooms. She added: "I hope he will go back one day. A couple of years ago I went back to face it."

Ms Gordon Cumming's call for kidneys comes as a new organ donation campaign is launched as more than 40% of Scots have now signed up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.

This year's campaign has been designed to get people talking about donation.

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