A 32-year-old woman who donated one of her kidneys to her husband after he was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure twice in 7 years, is running her first Cardiff 10k this September, in aid of race organisers, the Kidney Wales Foundation.
Nicola Parsons, a fabricator from Bridgend, became her husband’s donor after he was diagnosed with chronic kidney failure for the second time at the age of 33. Now aged 41, and having had received two kidney transplants, unfortunately Alan’s kidney is failing for the third time, and he is back on the transplant list.
Nicola and her family are running the Cardiff 10k to raise money for Kidney Wales to show their support to the charity for the help they provide to individuals and families who experience the many hardships brought on by kidney disease.
This year’s 30th anniversary Cardiff 10k event will take place on Sunday 6th September and is expected to be the biggest race yet. The event is one of the top ten road races in the UK and attracts thousands of runners who take on the scenic city centre course.
Nicola’s husband, Alan, had his first transplant in 2000 before Nicola and he had met, and his kidney function remained regular for 8 years. After three years together, in 2008 Alan was confronted with the devastating news that he was suffering once again with chronic kidney failure. Without a second thought Nicola was tested and she came back as a positive match. After 10 months of necessary testing, Nicola became her husband’s organ donor and gave her husband the gift of a lifetime.
It has now been seven years since the second transplant, and at 41 years old Alan’s new kidney is failing for unknown reasons for the third consecutive time.
In 2014 on becoming aware that Alan’s third transplanted kidney was deteriorating, doctors gave Alan plasma treatment with the hope that it would help discharge toxins and remove some antibodies from the blood. The treatment was unsuccessful.
Doctors then tried chemotherapy to kill the antibodies that were attacking his new foreign kidney. The chemotherapy halted the progression of the diseases for a few months but the antibodies soon returned, once again attacking his kidney and causing it to weaken. Alan is soon to go back onto dialysis while the search for a third organ donor begins.
Nicola said: “Witnessing the effects of kidney failure first-hand are really difficult, especially going through the process three times. Being on dialysis is really hard – I know Alan really struggles not being able to do things that people take for granted. People need to be more aware that this disease is becoming more and more common, especially in younger people.
“I am really looking forward to supporting Kidney Wales this September, and running alongside my family as a team in my first ever 10k! The Kidney Wales Foundation do amazing work in helping people like Alan, and I can’t wait to give something back.”
Roy Thomas, Chief Executive of Kidney Wales, said: “Here at Kidney Wales we try to do as much as we can to support families like Alan and Nicola’s during the distressing experiences associated with kidney disease.
“It is truly gratifying to see that Nicola is racing this year to give something back to our charity. We really appreciate her efforts and wish her the best of luck on the big day. The Cardiff 10k is the cornerstone of Kidney Wales’ annual fundraising activities, and this year we are excited to welcome more runners than ever before who are raising vital funds to not only to support our work, but the work of other charities across Wales too.”
Registration for the 2015 Cardiff 10k event is now open and people of all ages and abilities are being urged to get involved with the iconic road race.