Health sufferers Lorraine and Dani are fund-raising friends

Lorraine Pooley and Dani Smith at their charity night
Lorraine Pooley and Dani Smith at their charity night

A chance meeting at a hospital sparked a new friendship between two patients – and led to them raising money for charity.

Lorraine Pooley and Dani Smith met at Royal Preston Hospital earlier this year and started talking.

Dani, who has fibromyalgia, was an in-patient, while Lorraine was manning a stand with the Lancashire And South Cumbria Association of the Kidney Patient Association to mark World Kidney Day.

Lorraine, 53, has been campaigning to raise awareness of renal issues after undergoing a kidney transplant in February last year.

She has polycystic kidney disease, a life-threatening genetic condition which caused renal failure, and she received a kidney from her sister, Melissa.

Dani started talking to Lorraine and the pair shared their experiences of living with a chronic disease.

Lorraine, of Chapel Street, Brinscall, said: “Dani was very unwell and out of breath, struggling to walk, but she asked me for help.

“I listened and understood where she was coming from with her concerns and chronic disease, knowing what I had gone through, and promised to help her.”

They stayed in touch and Dani asked Lorraine to get involved with a charity event she was organising at the Rose And Crown pub, in Chorley town centre, where she is manager.

It was an evening with live music by singer John Brindley, food, a raffle, auction, singing and dancing.

There were also speeches by Lorraine and Natalie Hicks, leader of the Preston And Chorley Fibromyalgia Hypermobility Chronic Pain Support Group.

Lorraine said: “The whole event was very positive. It was brilliant.

“We raised £2,000 and that was double what we expected.

“There was a fantastic atmosphere.”

The £2,000 raised included a single donation of £500, from a man whose father died of kidney disease when he was a child.

The money has been donated to the Preston And Chorley Fibromyalgia Hypermobility Chronic Pain Support Group and Kidneys For Life.

It will be used to benefit other patients with similar conditions as Lorraine and Dani.

Lorraine said: “All donations were gratefully received and I would like to thank all those who supported Dani and myself.

“Dani is an amazing role model in what she achieves despite her illness and that day we met, I never thought it would lead to what we achieved.”