The shortlist has been announced for our Best Friend of the Year competition, and we’d like to tell you a little bit more about the story of each pair of friends. Today, we discover why Rachel and Lauren’s friendship struck us as so special.
These two have known each other all their lives. Their parents lived opposite each other when they were young, on the same road in Selby, North Yorkshire but it wasn’t always plain sailing. Rachel had a problem with her kidneys which meant that, from the age of six onwards, they didn’t develop.
When she was 19, it started to cause some serious problems and she found herself on a dialysis machine. Rachel desperately needed a donor and, with only a five per cent chance of finding one, Lauren decided to undergo the testing process and try to help her friend live a normal life.
To be eligible for the tests, Lauren needed to lose four-and-a-half stone – and she did. To their despair, however, Lauren was finally told that she wasn’t a match. Then a few days later, when Rachel and Lauren were chatting over cups of tea, Rachel received a phone call to say that another match had been found!
A few years on, the pair’s children have also become great friends. The children even attend Selby Abbey Primary School together, following in the footsteps of their mothers.
Rachel told us that one of the reasons Lauren deserves the ‘Best Friend’ title is because of how she has helped boost her morale, by providing much-needed emotional support. She told us that when you don’t know if you will be able to live life normally, it makes all the difference to have a friend who can keep your spirits up. If it wasn’t for Lauren, Rachel doesn’t know that she could have kept going.
We were thrilled to hear that Rachel was so pleased to be part of the final. She told us:
“I was so excited that I screamed down the house! When I’d told Lauren I’d put her name forward, she said it was silly, and that anyone would have done what she’d done. When I said we’d been shortlisted, she couldn’t believe it. I’m just so glad to have a chance to show her how grateful I am for what she’s done for me.”
To find out more about our other Best Friend of the Year finalists, check back in on tombola times where we will be publishing all their stories.