A CLYDEBANK woman has told of her journey to find her voice again after battling kidney failure.

Janine Franssen is set to perform at a gig with her singing group Sisters of Soul Scotland at Nice ‘n’ Sleazy in Glasgow tonight.

Clydebank Post: Janine is a member of Sisters of Soul ScotlandJanine is a member of Sisters of Soul Scotland (Image: Sisters of Soul Scotland)

The 50-year-old admits she is nervous ahead of the performance which she puts down to insecurities she developed after her kidneys failed.

Janine said: “I’ve always had issues with my kidneys since I was about 18-19 years old.

"Sadly my mum and dad had both passed away within a year of each other and then my kidneys started to fail.

“We always knew that it was going to happen. I was diagnosed with chronic renal failure around 12 years ago.

“My life literally crumbled. I sank into a deep depression and was struggling to find my voice. I started dialysis immediately which made me feel worse.

“Dialysis took a toll on my body and spirit, I’ve never struggled like that before.

"Just when I was about to give up, my sister, who lives in Canada, said she would try to donate her kidney to me and that there was no doubt in her mind that she wanted to do that.

“She’s the oldest of the three of us and she’s always taken on the big sister role.

"She was the one that took me to loads of gigs growing up and so it kind of felt like she was the right person to do this.

“There were no issues, we completed all of the tests across the pond with the doctors sending stuff back and forth.

“Then we found out she was a 100 per cent match and it was almost like it was meant to be. She came over to Scotland and we did the transplant.

“It’s now been 11 years since that happened, my sister saved my life. I will forever be in her debt and words can’t be described what that selfless act of kindness has meant to me.”

Despite the transplant having been a success, Janine said she knew there would be a long road to recovery.

As her body began to recover, the singer discovered her voice wasn’t reaching its previous potential which became frustrating.

The 50-year-old added: “When my kidneys failed and I was on dialysis my body was so toxic and it affected absolutely everything including my energy levels and my voice.

“I could still sing but it wasn’t at the same level. I had sung gospel music for the past ten/fifteen years and I was now struggling to do these songs.

“I couldn’t reach the high notes and it was just heartbreaking. I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through it but my friends from choir were there pushing me on and supporting me.

“Those girls helped me get back to doing what I love. They are a massive part of my life and have been beside me through this journey and here we are back to singing again.”

Janine had previously been a lead vocalist with the Glasgow Gospel Choir and is now one of eight women who make up Sisters of Soul Scotland.

The group sings a mix of soul, gospel, RnB, and club classics. Tonight’s gig will be a mix of 90s club classics including ‘Promise Land’ and ‘You’ve Got the Love’.

It is hoped that the evening will also help raise funds for Glasgow Women’s Aid.

Janine said: “After the Covid pandemic a lot of people were scared to go out to pubs and clubs.

"The aim of tonight is to get people who love this kind of music back out to watch gigs and not have to pay a fortune to do so because gigs are so expensive.

“We want to bring people together with music. Today, I’ve been struggling with nerves and anxiousness because it’s a big gig for me.

“It’s funny because I’ve been doing this since I was a child and it’s all these old insecurities creeping back in after everything with my kidneys.

“I have all these worries like ‘Am I going to do this?’ ‘Can I do this?’ I know we can though as we’ve put in so much work.”

Tonight’s event kicks off at 7pm with the group set to take to the stage at 8pm.

Sisters of Soul Scotland will also be headlining the Canal Festival in Kirkintilloch on August 26.

To find out more about the group contact cazzaeag@gmail.com.