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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 February 2007, 16:31 GMT
Father cycles for transplant sons
Luke and Ashley Campbell aged 13
Luke and Ashley Campbell were 13 when they underwent surgery
Three years after two young brothers underwent kidney transplants, they are in training for a world championship.

Luke and Ashley Campbell, 16, who are two of a set of triplets, suffered from the same rare kidney disease.

The boys had to give up sport because they needed dialysis, but following their surgery they took up sport again.

Now their father has begun a cycle ride from John O'Groats to Land's End to raise 4,000 for them to go to the World Transplant Games.

Luke and Ashley had been on a 17-month waiting list when a kidney became available for one of them.

They are 100% better now compared to how they were
Steven Campbell

At the time, their parents Melanie and Steve, from Newport, south Wales, had hoped they could have the operation at the same time, but were told it was not possible.

Luke was chosen by doctors to have the first operation and 12 weeks later Ashley had the surgery when another organ became available.

After recovering from the operations, the teenagers took up sport again, and competed in the UK Transplant Games in Bath just a year later.

They both won gold medals and were selected to compete in the World Transplant Games in Thailand in August in the 100m, long jump and badminton.

So their father, an army staff sergeant decided to help his sons by taking part in a charity cycle ride.

"We are going to be riding about 30 miles to 60 miles a day," explained Mr Campbell, who has been training for two months.

"There are nine of us taking part and we hope to do it in 10 days."

The two boys were diagnosed with the hereditary condition familial juvenile nephrophthisis when they were young.

Both Mr and Mrs Campbell carry the gene, which only affects boys. Their daughter Sinead is healthy, as is their other son, 18-year-old Gavin.

The condition causes gradual loss of kidney function due to cysts.

"The boys have been through a tough time and had had to give up rugby when they went on dialysis," said Mr Campbell.

"But since the transplant they are so much better. You could see in a matter of days.

"They are 100% better now compared to how they were," he added.

Brothers facing transplant dilemma
02 Aug 04 |  South East Wales

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