Press Release

Inspirational Dundee student helps raise millions for Children in Need

Published on 19 November 2021

A student who spent time on the road with BBC presenter Matt Baker as part of his Great Rickshaw Relay Challenge has talked about her experiences of helping to raise millions for charity and increase awareness of her rare liver condition

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Millie Stobie Platts was one of five inspirational young people chosen to cycle across the UK as part of the BBC’s Rickshaw Challenge, featuring as part of the annual Children in Need fundraising appeal.

This year, the team cycled over 140 miles between them, with Matt travelling through four different cities before meeting Millie (20) in Scotland and finishing in Edinburgh, where she is from.

Millie, a Psychology student at the University, was diagnosed with the rare liver condition Alagille Syndrome when she was born, and required a liver transplant before she was even a year old. Despite having visual and hearing impairments, Millie is healthy and celebrating 20 years since her transplant this year.

“I’ve never wanted my condition to define me or stop me doing anything I wanted to do,” said Millie.

“It was incredible to be a part of this challenge and have the platform to get the word out there about liver disease and organ donation. To know that we are helping so many other people and projects across the UK is amazing.”

The fundraising challenge has raised more than £2million so far, with more donations expected to come in when the BBC Children in Need appeal show is broadcast on BBC One from 7pm tonight, Friday 19 November.

Millie receives support from BBC Children in Need-funded project Children’s Liver Disease Foundation (CLDF) who offer support for young people with liver disease. They aim to reduce social isolation, and increase resilience and independence. It was CLDF who nominated her to be part of Matt Baker’s team.

"I've been with CLDF for 20 years, so to be able to represent them and give back even a tiny bit is a great feeling,” continued Millie.

“I hope that people who watch will see my journey and the situation my family and I were in 20 years ago and think there is light at the end of the tunnel and there is life beyond a transplant.”

While Millie admits that her 30-mile cycle was difficult at times, mostly due to Scotland’s hills and climbs, her love for sport helped her push through. Over the years she has competed in 12 British Transplant Games and two World Transplant Games, and is also a member of the University’s Women’s Volleyball Team.

“The challenge was hard, really hard,” said Millie. “But it was also the best thing ever.

“It’s quite important for me to keep fit and active but part of it is just my love for sport. It gives me the motivation to keep active and getting involved in sports is just generally fun.”

People can continue to support Team Rickshaw and BBC Children in Need by visiting bbc.co.uk/pudsey and The Great Rickshaw Relay Challenge is also available to watch on iPlayer.

The BBC Children in Need appeal show will be broadcast on BBC One from 7pm tonight.

Enquiries

Jessica Rorke

Media Relations Officer

+44 (0)1382 388878

jrorke001@dundee.ac.uk
Story category Student work/achievement