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“Dialysis takes five hours of my husband’s life every other day – the time it’ll take me to run the London Marathon!”

17 April 2024

Running the London Marathon in five hours will be a challenge, but one that Tamsin Hill is determined to complete when she takes to the streets of London on Sunday 21 April 2024. Tamsin’s husband, Craig, lives with kidney disease and, together with their daughter Ellie, will be cheering as Tamsin runs to raise money for us at Kidney Research UK.  

Tamsin, 42 from Durham, says: “Craig is my inspiration. His dialysis takes him away from life for about five hours every other day, but he takes it in his stride and is so positive. If he can do that, I can run a marathon to raise funds to further research into kidney disease. I want to help Craig and people in similar situations by improving treatment options for the future.” 

selfie of mum, dad and little girl
Tamsin with husband Craig and daughter

A family affected by kidney disease 

Craig, 39, first found out he had kidney disease in his early twenties, after he was prompted to get tested when his father was diagnosed with the same condition. 

Craig says: “My kidney disease is inherited genetically. My dad began losing clumps of hair and subsequently found out that he had kidney disease in 2001, while he was in his early fifties. Both my sister and I were tested and found to have the same condition soon after. Sadly, my mum was also diagnosed with kidney disease, and so the whole family has been affected. 

“My dad’s and sister’s kidneys both deteriorated more quickly than mine, and both have received transplants. They’re doing well now and are back to living their lives with more normality again. 

“For a long time, I had no symptoms, and so I just had annual check-ups to monitor my kidney function without much disruption to my life. However, in 2016, I started to decline and began taking medication to slow the progression. By 2020, my kidney function had dropped to 6%, causing tiredness and severe cramps. Then, in 2022, it became necessary for me to receive dialysis.” 

Fitting life around dialysis

Initially on peritoneal dialysis, Craig has now been receiving haemodialysis at home for just over a year. Although disruptive, the option of receiving treatment at home, without the need to travel to a dialysis centre, has enabled Craig to live his life around his dialysis sessions. 

Craig, a civil servant, says: “I am able to receive dialysis at home while I work, so it’s only the weekends now when treatment affects my family and social time. My employer has been really supportive, so fortunately my kidney disease hasn’t affected us financially. I am on the transplant list too, so the prospect of life without the need for dialysis is there in my future.” 

Tamsin says: “We’ve always been busy people with an active social life. In fact, we met learning capoeira – a Brazilian marital art. Since Craig began dialysis, he has been doing a lot better again and looks much healthier. He has been playing ice hockey and, last year, he even ran the Great North Run! I got my husband back, he’s not tired and grumpy anymore, but instead is full of energy. 

Our six-year-old daughter, Ellie, is not fazed by the haemodialysis machine – named ‘Daisy’ and often sits on Craig’s knee to play Xbox while he’s receiving dialysis. Craig is my hero; he’s always smiling and is such a good role model for Ellie. The home dialysis that Craig does, and the lifestyle we have, is all down to the research that has been done already. Without the amazing work of research charities like this and the NHS, he quite literally wouldn't be here. 

man having dialysis and daughter sat on his lap
Craig and Ellie

The marathon will be a challenge

We want to say good luck and a massive thank you to Tamsin, who has already exceeded her fundraising target by raising over £2,500 to support our work. And we’re sending our best to Craig and his family for their ongoing journey with kidney disease. 

Tamsin says: “I’ve run the Great North Run a couple of times, but the marathon will be a bigger test. I’m quite frightened in front of crowds so that’s also something I’ll need to overcome. If I can finish in five hours or less, I’ll be over the moon. I just want to get to the end though, even if I have to crawl!” 

If you’d like to support Tamsin’s fundraising efforts, please visit her donation page: Kidney Research UK: TCS London Marathon 2024 (enthuse.com) 

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