Comment: Encouraging people to join register vital

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Hibs fans have good reason to cheer. No matter the challenges on the pitch, the club has put its weight behind a great campaign that has been life-transforming for one of their most loyal and dedicated fans.

Claudia Bell has supported the team all her life. She even changed the days of her hospital visits so she wouldn’t miss a kick.

In January, after almost 30 years with kidney disease and four years on the waiting list, she underwent a kidney transplant.

Now, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous, altruistic donor, she is in the peak of health and enjoying an energy she can scarcely believe.

And the club she’s long supported has put its weight behind a campaign urging Scots to discuss their organ donation wishes with loved ones. 

Organ Donation Scotland teams have been out in force around Easter Road getting the message across.

Organ donation is one of those subjects that most of us don’t much care to think about, still less discuss with loved ones – other than to hope that there will be life-giving transplant support when we ourselves are directly involved.

Using football as an occasion when fans are more comfortable and receptive to the idea makes great sense. And, in the case of Claudia, every fan in the ground can relate to the huge benefits that it brings.

The difference she feels today is astonishing. “It’s the best gift I’ve ever received,” she says.

Seven Hibs players donned number 7 shirts to back the campaign, which aims to raise awareness of how seven words – “I’d like to be an organ donor” – can save as many lives. Other clubs have got behind the number 7 drive. In the meantime, encouraging as many Scots as possible on to the register is vital. Well done to Claudia, to Hibs – and to the altruistic donor – for this life-saving message.