Cramlington sisters Kate and Rachel had the surprise of their lives when they got to meet their favourite band One Direction, thanks to a top ITV show
Rachel and Kate Hooley were given the chance to interview one of the biggest boy bands of all time after their mum Eve nominated them to the programme Surprise, Surprise for their bravery and support.
Eleven-year-old Rachel underwent a life-saving heart transplant in 2012 after she became seriously ill with dilated cardiomyopathy. Her only chance of survival was the transplant and the girls have never forgotten the donor, their families’ loss and the importance of organ donation.
Rachel and Kate, 14, made it their mission to show the positive impact organ donation has on a whole family and raise money for the charity Children's Heart Unit Fund (Chuf) at the Freeman Hospital.
Kate and Rachel have spent the last three-and-a-half years attending events throughout the North East promoting organ donation and selling their handmade bracelet with all money they raise going to Chuf. They also have a Facebook page, Hearts That Matter UK, and Twitter account, @hearts_matteruk, where they can show their followers the reason why organ donation is so important.
The girls were taken down to London, but knew nothing about what was about to happen until they bumped into TV's Mark Wright, who sprung the surprise on them. They were whisked away on a horse-drawn carriage to see their heroes. The story unfolded on yesterday's Boxing Day special edition of the show, where they also received tickets to see One Direction at Metro Radio Arena and a massive goodie bag containing lots of OneD goods and a signed CD..
Rachel said: "I couldn't believe it, I thought I was dreaming. It's been a dream come true. When I am poorly, I can look back at the best time I had. I just wish I had asked Niall to follow us on Facebook, but I felt too shy."
Kate said: "This is the best day ever."
Mum Eve said: "The girls don't ask for any recognition for what they do, they spend every spare minute making bracelets to sell for Chuf and looking at ways to promote Organ Donation. Rachel still battles with a lot of ill-health but keeps smiling and Kate is studying contemporary dance at Dance City, but always make time for their Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep people updated on Rachel's transplant journey.
"The whole Surprise experience has been wonderful, not only because Rachel and Kate got to meet One Direction, but also because we've had such positive feed back from people that have been inspired to join the NHS organ donor register. With organ donation being at the lowest it has been in years, it's just what we wanted to hear."
"We all can't thank the team at Surprise, Surprise enough for the memories they have given to us all. Mark Wright, Holly Willoughby and One Direction made Rachel and Kate's dream come true. They also gave us the opportunity to show the positive impact organ donation has, which will hopefully encourage others to talk about organ donation and join the register."
To support the girls take a look at their Facebook page Hearts That Matter UK.
To join the organ donor register following the link www.organdonation.co.uk