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Kidney Charities Champion and Fundraiser

2218. Charlie Frieland

Charlie Frieland, aged 13, from Rutland, was diagnosed with a life-threatening chronic kidney disease five years ago.

Since Charlie’s diagnosis, he has been through intensive daily treatment programmes and numerous medical procedures whilst awaiting a lifesaving kidney transplant. He is determined to help other children and young people who may be going through similar circumstances. He campaigns tirelessly for others in the hope that, in the future, children do not have to endure what he has, and can enjoy their childhood unhindered. 

Charlie has independently raised over £17,000 for kidney and associated charities by completing fundraising challenges. He has facilitated courageous conversations about the importance of organ donation, produced educational materials used in academic settings and offered in-person peer support, encouragement and guidance to others. 

In a personal letter to Charlie, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: 

“From your incredible 1,000 mile fundraising walk to the personal peer support you provide to others, your incredible determination and positivity is a true inspiration to us all.

“I know that you campaign tirelessly in the hope that, in future, other young people do not have to endure what you are going through. It’s also fantastic to hear how you have worked with Kidney Research UK to encourage people to have the vital, but often difficult, conversation about donating organs, and the life-changing difference it can make.”

Congratulating Charlie on his award, Alicia Kearns, Charlie’s local MP for Rutland and Melton, said: 

“Charlie’s brave work fundraising and raising awareness about kidney disease has been truly outstanding, and I am delighted his efforts have been so deservedly recognised by the Prime Minister.

“He has been an inspiration to so many children and young adults suffering from kidney disease across the country, and we are all incredibly proud of him here in Rutland.”

Charlie said:

“I am extremely honoured to receive the Points of Light award from the Prime Minister. I am particularly proud that this means that kidney disease and organ donation have been discussed and acknowledged within the highest levels of UK Government, which means important conversations are happening in the right places. Thank you so very much for taking the time to recognise this very important subject. Thank you also to Alicia Kearns, my local MP, for nominating me for the award.”

Find out more about Charlie’s 2023 Kidney Research UK fundraising challenge and ‘Kidney Research UK

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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