Meet Matthew Harris; a man who has raised more than £20,000 for Kidney Wales after his wife became ill with Kidney Disease

When Helen Harris, 48, fell pregnant at the age of 25, she and her husband Matthew Harris were overjoyed at the news they would become parents for the first time. But it was during her pregnancy that Helen first discovered she was suffering from kidney disease.

Fortunately Helen’s baby remained unaffected by her condition, however over the years her condition deteriorated, until she was put on dialysis and eventually received a transplant when she was 32. The new kidney lasted four and a half years before she fell ill again, whereupon Helen went back on dialysis before receiving her second transplant at the age of 40.

Matthew, 49, from Miskin, was prompted to start fundraising for Kidney Wales after a chance meeting at the Cardiff 10k. He said “It was actually at the Cardiff 10k where I first met Kidney Wales. I spoke to them about my wife’s experiences and it all started there really.”

Since that meeting, Matthew has been inspired to raise over £20,000 for Kidney Wales through several fund raising endeavours including taking part in the Cardiff 10k year after year.

He said “I’ve been running the 10k ever since I first got involved with Kidney Wales. My company, Glamorgan Financial, have put a corporate team in every year. We aren’t a big company but everyone gets theirfriends and family involved and we usually have a team of fifteen running including my son, James. I also organise Pontyclun’s Walk for Life.”

The Walk for Life in Pontyclun originally started with just Matthew and a few friends and family taking part, but has since grown to incorporate over 150 people. The Miskin resident said “It’s grown into a real community day out. Everyone in the area gets involved.. We all get a t-shirt and everyone raises funds individually. Everything we raise goes to Kidney Wales.”

Matthew credits the work that Kidney Wales do as his motivation “They are a brilliant charity. They help transplant patients, have a brilliant institute for research at the University Hospital Wales, Heath. But they also do a lot of unseen work such as helping families financially during dialysis. It truly is a family charity; everyone knows each other and everyone is close.”

Roy J Thomas, from Kidney Wales, said “Matthew is an inspiration. He is always prepared to help others and is a fantastic family man. The whole family always get behind the Charity and fully understand the severe nature of renal failure.

“I can’t encourage everyone enough to sign up to this year’s Cardiff 10k – it has become one of the cornerstones of the Foundation’s fundraising events over the past few years, and this year we are excited to welcome more runners than ever on the big day!”

The Cardiff 10k, organised by Kidney Wales, takes place on Sunday 8th September 2013. Registration has opened and you can register at www.cardiff10k.com

www.cardiff10k.com

Tel: 029 2034 3951

For more information please contact:

Kara Williams kara.williams@workingwordpr.com

Ben James ben.james@workingwordpr.com