Hi, I am Dan Hogben.
Having played football since I was 7, I joined Hull City Academy when I was 12. I had four amazing years working towards my dream of becoming a professional footballer. Then at age 16 just as I was preparing to start my two-year scholarship I was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease, and in a moment my dream was over. This was a complete chance find, I had no idea there was any problem, yet at that moment I had less than 15% kidney function.
Three years after diagnosis I have now been incredibly lucky to receive a living donor kidney transplant. Despite many tests, my doctors could not discover exactly why I have this disease or what caused it. So, although my mum was a direct match, we were advised to use the living donor kidney sharing scheme, and I received my new kidney in May 2022. In the best case scenario this will last me 20-25 years, so further transplants will be needed in the future.
Just 7 months after the operation, I started a T Level course in Construction Design & Management and, most excitingly, have returned to the football pitch, as a referee.
Hull City Academy supported me with my referee training and I am now building my refereeing experience there and across local matches in East Yorkshire, with an aim to referee professionally in a few years time. I am also happy to be joining up with both Leeds and Team GB Transplant Football Teams, giving me a pathway to play the sport I love in a way that is safe for me.
I hope my story will inspire other young people to see that despite all the many challenges of this life changing diagnosis, transplants make a huge difference and you will adapt and find other ways of living life to the full.
I'm asking you to join me in making a difference, ongoing research is needed to keep improving the outcomes for dialysis and transplant patients and to understand more about the causes of kidney disease. I'm raising money in aid of Kidney Research UK and every donation, however small, will help.
Thank you in advance for your contribution to a cause that means so much to me.