A courageous Ballycastle teenager is campaigning to get organ donation onto the school curriculum.
Lucia Mee, who has had three liver transplants, has made a film encouraging people to sign the organ donation register.
The 17-year-old student has teamed up with Fixers – the charity which gives young people the chance to create a media campaign.
Lucia says: “I had my first liver transplant when I was eight-years-old and then I had my second when I was nine, followed by my third when I was 16.
“I’d like everyone to sign the organ donation register. It’s had a huge impact on me - it’s saved my life three times and not only has it saved my life, it’s given me a life that is filled with many different things like ballet and swimming and lots of other stuff which I love to do.
“My aim is to get organ donation onto the national curriculum in secondary schools so that young people can then base their decision about organ donation on information that’s correct.”
Lucia is currently studying for her AS levels at Cross and Passion College, where, as part of her Fixers campaign, she delivered a presentation to a group of her peers.
Lucia was diagnosed with auto immune hepatitis, a condition which causes the cells in her body to attack her liver. When she was eight, she underwent her first transplant, but her body rejected the organ 10 months later, forcing her to have another operation.
Following the second transplant, Lucia developed a serious kidney infection which led to septicaemia. Her liver was put under stress and never recovered, so Lucia received her third transplant when she was 16.
Dr. Catherine Coyle, consultant in public health says: “In Northern Ireland, 37 percent of the population are on the organ donation register which is excellent, but we do need more people to sign the register.
“The statistics help paint a picture, but what really brings it home is the personal story and the fact that it’s from a young person.”
Fixers works with people aged 16-25 across the UK by providing them with resources to help them campaign on issues they feel strongly about.
The charity has helped more than 19,000 youngsters across the UK to have a voice in their community on issues such as cyber-bullying, self-harm, suicide or transphobia.
For more information or to make a donation to fund more Fixer projects, visit www.fixers.org.uk