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Liverpool marathon veteran dedicates number five to his sister

17 April 2023

Four-time marathon runner Daniel McKevitt has decided to run the 2023 TCS London Marathon in memory of his sister Kelly Marie after she passed away due to a cardiac arrest which came as a complication of kidney disease. The 44-year-old Liverpool man has previously run races in Berlin, Manchester, Snowdonia and in his home city but believes that the 26.2 miles across the capital will be his most meaningful as he looks to raise money for charity Kidney Research UK. 

Brother and sister Daniel and Kelly Marie
Daniel McKevitt and his sister Kelly Marie

Running for Kelly

Born with cerebral palsy, Kelly faced many challenges in her life including being diagnosed with kidney disease in her late teens but will always be remembered as a happy and social person. Kelly’s kidney condition developed gradually before her cardiac arrest last November. 

Daniel instantly wanted to put himself forward to see whether he could give her one of his kidneys. However, a transplant would not be a viable option due to the complex nature of Kelly’s care needs.  

Daniel said: “Even though I have run marathons before, this one will be the most important for me. I know that Kelly will be looking down and cheering me on even when the race gets tough. I had to see my sister go through so many challenges in her life and kidney disease was one of the worst. I want to raise money for Kidney Research UK while also helping others to understand the condition so that one day, we can all live without it.” 

Kelly would spend the next 10 years on dialysis, going to hospital three times a week to receive vital treatments that would keep her alive. Dialysis is a gruelling procedure that can leave patients feeling unwell and exhausted after every session, but Daniel never recalls Kelly complaining about having to be hooked up to a machine for four hours at a time.  

Kelly was able to live in her own place with full time carers for around 10 years, giving her some much-needed independence. Towards the end of her life Kelly’s kidneys and her cerebral palsy became much worse meaning that her mother became a full-time carer, however, following her diagnosis with dementia, Kelly’s mother could no longer care for her. While Kelly continued to live through the rest of her life with the positive attitude she always had, she unfortunately passed away almost a decade after starting dialysis. 

“We got the call that Kelly was in a bad way just after she had finished her usual dialysis session,” Daniel recalled: “Naturally we rushed to see her but sadly, she would not leave the hospital again. She was just 48 when she passed away, but she will always be a reminder of constant strength and bravery, living a life of laughter and joy through all that she met. Her spirit and endeavour are an inspiration to us all.” 

Daniel McKevitt with his running club
Daniel wearing his Kidney Research UK running top (centre)

Fundraising for vital research

Marc Shaw, head of fundraising and events said: “The London Marathon is the ultimate test of endurance and determination and every year the amazing stories like Daniel’s help to drive our runners across the finishing line. Far too few people fully understand what their kidneys do and how important they are, so the work that Daniel is doing to help raise awareness is critical. The money that he raises will help fund vital research to transform the lives of people across the UK.”

To support Daniel in the upcoming London Marathon, you can visit his fundraising page

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