A SELFLESS woman who donated a kidney to her best friend is taking on Mount Kilimanjaro in October to prove you can lead a normal life after a transplant.

Helen Crowther, from Runcorn, underwent a major operation in 2017 for her best friend Andy Clewes.

Helen said: "It's like it never happened, the recovery was remarkable.

"The hospital look after you so well leading up to it and the tests make sure you will be fine with one kidney.

"I don't feel any different than before and it has made no difference to my life at all but it has absolutely transformed Andy's life.

"When I was spending a lot of time in the hospital before the operation I saw a lot of renal patients on dialysis and it really made me realise that you wouldn't wish it on anybody.

"I didn't want Andy to go through that and when you think 'I wish I could do something about it' - this time I could."

Andy and Helen met in 2006 at a charity fundraising event and struck up a friendship while Andy was working as a DJ at Silk FM.

Helen, 48, said: "We were really similar and found out that we were born a week apart - he's like my brother from another mother.

"I didn't find out about his kidney problems until a few years later as he never talked about it. Once it became clear that it was really bad and one day he would need a transplant, I just said he could have one of mine."

Helen, a fundraiser with Children's Adventure Farm Trust, underwent the operation at Royal Liverpool Hospital and her kidney was transported along the M62 to Manchester where Andy was waiting.

Helen added: "There aren't enough organs being donated – in ideal world they wouldn't have to take kidneys out of living donors but not enough people are signing up to the register .

"I just don't think people realise they can donate a kidney while they are alive or how well you can be afterwards and how little it impacts on your life.

"It has a huge impact on another person's life."

Helen, who has never shied away from challenges, will add Kilimanjaro to Everest base camp, a skydive and the Great Wall of China all of which she completed for the Children's Adventure Farm Trust.

She said: "Kilimanjaro has always been one of those things I've wanted to do. The kidney donation has made me think 'you've just got to take these opportunities'.

"When I was off work for the operation it made me appreciate more what it is like not being able to do things and now I'll do it to help the kids at the farm.

"Loads of them would love the opportunity to do something like this but some of them will never be able to.

"But we can give them their own adventure at the farm."

Computer recycling company CDL in Runcorn, helped CAFT with a new van and have entered a team of five to join the children's charity on the trek. The group are hoping to raise £30,000.

You can donate to the team of climbers at justgiving.com/teams/cdlkili.