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“Why I’m running the London Marathon for Dad”

17 April 2023

An Argyllshire man is running this year’s London marathon in memory of his dad and to raise awareness of the disease his father lived with his whole adult life. Niall MacCallum 43 has set himself a target of raising over £2,500 for charity Kidney Research UK.

His father Eddie was diagnosed with kidney disease at 19 and, despite having the condition for all of his adult life, Niall recalls him being in relatively high spirits throughout his journey. Eddie continued to live a relatively healthy life before he unfortunately passed away from kidney disease complications at the age of 76.

Niall and Eddie at the coast
Niall MacCallum and dad Eddie

Niall said: “My dad was the sort of man that would just get on with things. To be honest, we never heard him complain about it. Dad always made a real effort to look after himself and lead an active life. Unfortunately, he passed away in July 2022 after being in hospital for over two weeks following a heart attack. The hardest part was after the first week where he had responded well to treatment to then be told there was nothing more they could do. Chronic kidney disease was a major contributing factor, and any treatment options left would have affected any remaining kidney function. It made me realise just how important these organs are in keeping the rest of the body healthy.”

Motivated by his father's passing

Many people who knew Eddie had no idea that he had kidney disease, and it made Niall want to discover more about the condition.

Niall had run a couple of marathons in his late 20s and early 30s and the passing of his dad gave him the motivation to get back into longer distance running to try and raise some money and awareness of the condition. Training in the harsh Scottish weather is giving him the strength and ability to take on the course in the capital next month.

“You just don’t realise how many people are living with the disease and like my dad, there are almost no indications that they are living with a chronic disease.”

Niall continued: “Since I’ve started fundraising, I’ve been blown away by the generosity of everyone who has donated. Despite the cost-of-living crisis I am grateful to every single penny that people have given to allow me to raise funds for this really important cause.”

Niall wearing his charity running top
Niall MacCallum

Support Niall's fundraising

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 Niall’s help to drive our runners across the finishing line. Far too few people fully understand what their kidneys do and how they help to regulate the body so the work that Niall is doing to help raise awareness is critical. The money that he raises will go to vital research across the UK in an effort to one day help us live without kidney disease.”

Niall is hoping to raise just over £2,500 for Kidney Research UK. To help him reach his target you can donate using his fundraising link.

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