Leader: ‘We should all remember Sheree’s battle’

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THE story of Sheree Bell should be an inspiration to us all. Since birth she battled with a rare condition known as Noonan Syndrome which left her unable to lead a normal life.

Ultimately this led to her requiring a heart transplant in her early 20s.

It would have been easy to think only of herself. But Sheree was tireless in her efforts to raise awareness of organ donation, raising funds and speaking about her condition on radio and in the Press.

A heart transplant at the age of 22 was unsuccessful and she was laid to rest this week by family and friends.

Sheree’s battle to raise awareness of organ donation will carry on – she left a letter to her close family urging them to continue her work.

The efforts of individuals such as Sheree together with government-backed campaigns now mean that more Scots have put their names on the organ register than in any other part of the UK.

Around 37 per cent of the population – or 1.8 million people – have signed up to save a life, compared to the UK average of 30 per cent.

But there is more to be done.

Around 90 per cent of adults say they back organ donation, but most haven’t signed up to the register. And more than 600 people are currently waiting for an organ in Scotland.

The question of organ donation can often occur in sudden and traumatic circumstances where families are asked what their sick relative would want. Without clear guidance many opt to say no to organ transplant which is why the register is so important. We should all remember Sheree’s battle. It could save a life.

Big coup for theatre

Edinburgh is spoiled for choice when it comes to theatres, but that embarrassment of riches has proved a two-edged sword in recent years with the King’s Theatre languishing in the shadow of the Playhouse and, to a lesser extent, that of the Festival Theatre, which too has struggled to establish its identity.

Today’s announcement by Duncan Hendry that the Festival Theatre is to bring the National Theatre’s award-winning production of War Horse to the Capital for its only Scottish dates is to be welcomed and is a major coup.

Having sold out two runs at the National Theatre in London and currently enjoying runs on both Broadway and the West End, War Horse is now one of the hottest touring properties.

War Horse, alongside shows such as The Lady Killers and The Mousetrap at The King’s signal Hendry’s intention to return both theatres to see their rightful place at the heart of Edinburgh’s theatre-land.