Shae Hutchinson is a striker for Norwich City’s Under-23s and currently in the form of his life.
Three goals and an assist during four Premier League 2 fixtures over January saw him nominated for the Player of the Month award.
Add that to his goal in the EFL Trophy game at Oxford United back in September and it’s been an impressive return for the 20-year-old in 2019-20.
To make his form even more remarkable, Shae suffers from Alport Syndrome and underwent a kidney transplant last season. It was a procedure which saw him sidelined for most of the 2018-19 campaign.
“I was diagnosed at eight years old but around the age of 16, that’s when it [the condition] started to get bad,” said Shae in an interview with Canaries TV.
“Because I play sport and I’m always working hard using my body, I needed it [the transplant] pretty soon. It affects my hearing and my eyesight and makes me very tired. I can’t work as hard as other people.
“My dad was my match. There were other people in my family and strangers, but my dad was the match and it was perfect.
“It took me about six months to get back into football properly and start training out there with the boys.”
Despite being away from the Lotus Training Centre for a considerable amount of time, Shae received plenty of support from his teammates and staff.
“I received a lot of support from Clive [Cook, Academy Player Care Manager] and Wrighty [David Wright, Lead Under-23s Coach]. Even just a little text asking how I was, it was really nice. Clive came down to my house to see me as well.
“The boys showed me a lot of support. They were always texting. When I’m struggling, the team will boost me up and show me lots of confidence.
“They understand what I’ve been through and they are never harsh on me.”
After complications with the previous transplant, Shae now requires a new kidney if he is to fulfil his aims of living a normal life and becoming a professional footballer.
“When your kidney is working at around 15%, that’s when you need a transplant. My new kidney is at 17% and it still doesn’t work properly. I’m going to have to get another one as soon as possible.
“I want to continue living out my dream as a professional footballer, enjoying life with my family and friends however, for this to happen, I desperately need to find a matched kidney donor to beat this.”
Shae is currently living with 17% kidney function and is in need of an urgent transplant if he is to beat the illness. To find out how you can become a living donor for Shae or to join the Organ Donor Register, please visit www.aclt.org.