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The 26-year-old defiantly walking 10,000 steps a day to fight kidney disease

05 April 2024

In January 2024, when 26-year-old Jazmin Ahmet received a shock diagnosis of kidney disease, in the form of IgA nephropathy, it created lots of anxiety about her future. Just two months later, Jazmin, from Nottingham, has been participating in our March March virtual event – walking 10,000 steps a day - to raise awareness and money in support of kidney research. 

Jazmin says: “I was not expecting my diagnosis at all. It has been hard keeping some normality and staying positive. I saw the March March and thought it was an achievable challenge with my symptoms - such as leg swelling, fatigue, and joint paint. I wanted to do something that could help me exercise to improve my mental health and help me feel better in myself – and this challenge has done that.” 

Female in garden wearing blue nurses uniform
Jazmin Ahmet

Fears over my diagnosis

Working as a deputy nurse on a cardiology unit, Jazmin first realised she might be unwell when she began experiencing headaches.  

She says: “I checked my blood pressure at work, and it was quite high. I monitored it over the next week, but it remained outside of normal range, so I visited my GP. The following day, I got a call to say my kidney function had fallen to 35% and I needed to go to A&E. After more tests, including an ultrasound and a biopsy, I was diagnosed with IgA nephropathy.” 

“I had a lot of negative thoughts at first, thinking about how this is going to impact my life. Wondering why this has happened to me and whether I’ll be able to have kids in the future. I know if my kidney function keeps dropping, I will probably have to have dialysis and a transplant.” 

“Kidney disease and cardiology are interlinked, so as a nurse I see what dialysis patients go through and it’s hard to think about that happening to me. I’ve worked hard to do my degree, my nursing qualifications and have recently been promoted. To think that dialysis treatment could affect my job and reduce the number of hours I could work is hard.” 

“I rent on my own, away from my family in London, so I don’t have much support up here. I worry I’ll have to move home and leave the life I’ve built up. It’s scary to think I might have to give up everything I’ve worked so hard for.” 

Keeping positive

Despite the overwhelming nature of her diagnosis, Jazmin is determined to stay positive, support others and look after her own health. Her decision to join The March March is one way in which she has been achieving this. 

Jazmin says: “I’ve reached my target of over 10,000 steps a day, but it has been a struggle, particularly at the start. My kidney disease and blood pressure medication cause a lot of swelling in my feet, I was getting short of breath and feeling very fatigued.” 

“I was walking round my Nan’s garden and would do 2,000 steps at a time with naps in between. The March March has built my strength back up and helped reduce some joint pains by keeping fit. I have been on some walks with friends, and with my colleagues to the local nature reserve which was nice.” 

Jazmin raised more than £500 during the challenge and says: “I didn’t expect to raise as much as I have so it’s been great to have the support of everyone. I’m excited that money will go towards making life easier on kidney patients in the future.” 

Help Jazmin to raise even more to support our work at Kidney Research UK: Kidney Research UK: The March March (enthuse.com) 

Female on a walk
Jazmin during one of her walks

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