Hertfordshire man running 26 miles for sister-in-law’s 26th kidney transplant anniversary
A Bishops Stortford man is taking on this year’s London Marathon to raise money for for vital kidney research and to celebrate the 26th anniversary of his sister in-law’s kidney transplant.
Tim Carr, 53, wanted to mark the occasion with 26-mile course around the capital adding further to his marathon tally.
Tim’s sister-in-law Kerry was in her early twenties when she was told that she would need a kidney transplant. Luckily, her own father was a match, and although she has faced ongoing associated health issues, she has been able to live a full life ever since.
The family have always been very close to one another which allowed Tim to get to know Kerry very well. Both had a shared interest in fitness but as Kerry’s health deteriorated, she was unable to go to the gym which was highly frustrating for her.
Kidney transplants typically last between 15 to 20 years with younger patients likely need several throughout their lifetime so Kerry’s 26th anniversary is an occasion to celebrate.
Tim Carr said: “I’ve run quite a few marathons before but the connection between Kerry’s transplant anniversary and the number of miles in a marathon was just too good an excuse to do another one. This will be my fourth London Marathon so I am quite familiar with the course, but I feel that this one will be really significant. I have seen first-hand the impact that a transplant can have on the life of a kidney patient, that’s why I wanted to raise money for Kidney Research UK and help more people to gain access to a vital kidney transplant.”
A transplant but not a cure
Over the years, Tim has seen his sister-in-law struggle through periods of ill health and frequent visits to Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge. While a transplant can give someone a new lease of life, it is neither permanent nor without complications.
Post-transplant, Kerry was placed on a high dose of immunosuppressants to prevent her new organ from being rejected. Unfortunately, she remains highly susceptible to infections and regularly needs hospital treatments to help her.
Immunosuppressant medications are essential for kidney transplant patients as they help to prevent their body from rejecting their new organ. Like Kerry, many patients suffer from numerous infections meaning that even when they have a transplant, the lives of kidney patients are dominated by their disease.
“Despite everything she’s gone through, I have rarely heard Kerry complain about her kidney disease or the fact that she gets ill a lot,” Tim continued. “It’s been a really tough road for her, but she’s always approached things so positively. My hope is that on the day she’ll be able to be cheering me on at the finish line.”
Fundraising for research
Marc Shaw, head of fundraising and events at said: “The London Marathon is the ultimate test of endurance and determination and every year the amazing stories like Tim’s help to drive our runners across the finishing line. Transplant is currently the best option for most patients, but many are either unable to have a transplant or wait far too long for an organ to become available. With the help of people like Tim, we can fund vital research that can ensure more kidney patients have the option of receiving a lifesaving transplant.”
To support Tim at this year’s London Marathon please visit his fundraising page. Or if you've been inspired by Tim's story, take a look at our events and sign up for your own challenge.