Stage four kidney disease patient runs half marathon raising thousands for research by Maria Thompson
Running 13.1 miles for charity is a fantastic achievement, but to do it when you are nearing end stage kidney disease, now that’s something to shout about.
Father of two Andy Jones did just that only this month, completing the Chester half marathon in two hours and 23 minutes.
He raised over £2,000 for Kidney Research UK in the process.
Andy said: “My mantra is: ‘never give up’ and ‘positive mental attitude’. When I first heard I would need a transplant the first thing I did was Google ‘dialysis’. When I read that life expectancy for dialysis patients could be just five years, I decided to pick myself up and do something about it.
“I was born with kidney problems and always knew this day would come, but when it actually did, it gave me the kick up the backside I needed. Up until then I kind of told myself I would live forever, but I was overweight and had never really done any exercise before.”
In less than a year Andy managed to shed three stone in weight and run more miles than he could ever have thought possible.
“I thought the half marathon would be the pinnacle of my achievements, but now I don’t want to stop. Running has been one of the best things I’ve ever done. I have two daughters aged 11 and nine and I’m determined to see them both get married when the time comes, so they have been another real motivation for me. My wife has also been fantastically supportive, even joining me on my training runs.”
Andy has about 14 per cent kidney function, which puts him on the transplant waiting list, but he has managed to stablise his condition through exercise and healthy eating.
He puts the fact that he could run a half marathon with such low kidney function down to his new healthy lifestyle meaning that he just feels more energetic.
“The big thing for me was joining my local Park Run. It’s so inclusive, I would recommend anyone who hasn’t run before but wants to, to join one. There are so many different people there and everyone is supportive. And you can just walk it if you want to.”
Andy raised £1,000 through donations and his dad match funded the amount. He has also managed to convince a friend to run a marathon in October this year, again for Kidney Research UK.
You can connect with Andy on Twitter @Andy_Jonesy
If you’ve got your own place in a sporting event or are planning your own challenge and want to fundraise for us, please do be in touch. Contact our Supporter Care team on 0300 303 1100 or find out more about being involved.
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