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Teenager boosts disabled stars

PUBLISHED: 03:00 08 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:42 03 March 2010

A TEENAGER who was hailed a "young hero" for his bravery in dealing with a range of disabilities has now done his bit to help disabled sports stars.

Lee Mullett, 17, has battled against Vater syndrome for his entire life and has had to undergo two kidney transplants.

A TEENAGER who was hailed a "young hero" for his bravery in dealing with a range of disabilities has now done his bit to help disabled sports stars.

Lee Mullett, 17, has battled against Vater syndrome for his entire life and has had to undergo two kidney transplants.

But the Ipswich youngster still manages to juggle a college course and part-time job and play a number of sports.

In November, he triumphed at the National Kidney Research Fund's annual Young Hero Awards and was handed prize money of £2,000, with three-quarters of it going to his chosen cause.

Last week, he presented £1,500 to The Transplant Games and Recreational Fund, a new charity which aims to generate enough money to send a team to The National Transplant Games.

He handed over the money at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, where he spent much of his early life having operations and treatment. The cash will go towards the cost of sporting clothing for children taking part in the games.

Lee, of Wigmore Close, said he was "surprised and chuffed" to have won the award and pleased to be able to give the money to a good cause.

"I've had a lot of treatment and help throughout my life and it is nice to give something back. My dad entered me into the competition and it was brilliant to win," he said.

Lee was born with Vater syndrome, which indicates six different types of deficiencies – ventricular, arterial, radial, tracheal, oesophageal and renal.

He suffers or has suffered from all but arterial (problems), and had surgery on the day he was born to correct an incomplete trachea and oesophageal pipe.

Lee's other problems included one very small kidney, which failed from birth and needed operations to relieve the stress on it.

In 1998, he had a kidney transplant but after the new organ failed he had another operation last year, which appears to have been more successful.

Overall, he has undergone surgery about 26 times.


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