Skip to content

Why I’m running the London Marathon for Mum

21 April 2023

A man in Derbyshire is set to run this year’s London Marathon to raise money for Kidney Research UK and in memory of his own mother. 

Ryan Cotton 44 originally took on the challenge to celebrate the kidney transplant of his mother-in-law, which has lasted for 44 years. Unfortunately, Ryan’s own mother Lynne was also living with kidney disease and tragically passed away in February. This sad loss has made him even more determined to run this year.  

His mother-in-law Val received a kidney from her own mother Daphne in 1979. Val was in her 20s when the procedure took place and, while her mother is no longer here to tell the story, her kidney lives on in her daughter and is considered to be one of the most successful kidney transplants in the UK.  

Running in memory

Ryan Cotton said: “When I first signed up, I thought it was a great opportunity to celebrate a transplant that lasted for such a long time and allowed me to meet the love of my life. I feel as if this marathon is even more significant after Mum passed away, but it’s something that makes me want to smash it even more. I’ve seen first-hand how kidney disease impacts families which has helped me to understand just how important it is to fund research. I want to raise money for Kidney Research UK so that people like my mum have a better chance of survival and that more people like Val can live their lives to the full.”  

Daphne, Catherine, Val
From left to right, Daphne, Catherine, Val and daughter Megan (middle)

Kidney transplants will typically last anywhere between 15 to 20 years at a time meaning that a 20-year-old with kidney disease may need two or three transplants throughout their lifetime. Val’s case is incredibly rare but remains an amazing example of just how transformative a transplant can be to the families of kidney patients.  

Ryan is eternally grateful for the generosity shown by the family back in the 1970s. Without Daphne’s brave decision, he would not have been able to meet his future wife and have the wonderful life he leads today.  

Fundraising to transform treatments

Marc Shaw, head of fundraising and events at Kidney Research UK said: “The London Marathon is the ultimate test of endurance and determination and every year the amazing stories like Ryan’s help to drive our runners across the finishing line. There is currently no cure patients face either gruelling dialysis or waiting for a transplant. Val’s experience might be exceptional, but it highlights just how impactful a successful transplant can be for a patient. With the help of people like Ryan, we can continue to fund vital research that helps us to one day live a life without kidney disease.” 

Ryan wearing a branded t-shirt biting his medal
Ryan Cotton, marathon runner

Transplants are still just a treatment and not a cure. Kidney Research UK is determined to fund transformative treatments that help to change the lives of patients. Making transplants more accessible for all patients and helping them to last longer is a core priority for the organisation.  

“I’ve run marathons before, but I think this will be a really special one.” Ryan continued: “So far, I’ve had no injuries and my training is going well so I’m confident that I could run it in around three and a half hours. I know that Mum will be smiling down on me and cheering me on so I know that’s going to give me the extra strength I need.” 

To support Ryan at this year’s London Marathon please visit his fundraising page

More fundraising news

Why not make a donation now?

(Every £ counts)

Scroll To Top