A HEALTHCARE Scientist at Newcastle Hospitals is tackling a four-hour run today (9 March) to raise awareness of chronic kidney disease (CKD) as part of World Kidney Day.
Wayne Hartley, who as a kidney patient spent four hours a day, three days a week for a year on dialysis before having his transplant in 2006, will start – and end – his journey at Seaton Sluice, with the run scheduled from 12.15pm to 4.15pm.
As well as highlighting CKD, he is also getting in some practice for the World Transplant Games in Australia, this April where he will represent team Great Britain and North Ireland in several events.
Wayne had been in and out of hospital since he was 13 with urological issues which, in turn, impacted on his kidney function. He was just 20 when he had a transplant and received a kidney from his older sister, Clair, who is 18 months older than him.
“CKD can have a massive impact on patients’ lives which is why I wanted to do something to raise awareness to highlight the impact that being on haemodialysis for four hours a day, three days a week has on people,” he said.
“My dialysis caused me sweats, cramps, mood swings, brain fog, and they say the strain each session puts on your heart is equivalent to running a marathon. I won’t make the whole marathon distance, but I will run as far as I can for four hours – as that’s how long patients are on the dialysis machine.
“I’ve had my transplant now – thanks to my sister – and it has improved my quality of life more than I can explain but kidney failure can happen to anyone, at any time.”
As Wayne was quite ill during his teenage years, he also missed out on many things other young people take for granted – such as sports, socialising and his schooling, which he has made up for in later years.
The World Transplant Games are an opportunity for him to reconnect with sports and he will be representing team GB and NI in several events including ten pin bowling – his main event – as well as a 5K run, a 5K run as part of a triathlon, the 100 metres and the long jump.
“When I was physically ill, I wasn’t ever really able to develop athletically and I’ve been playing catch-up since my transplant so having this opportunity to compete is amazing,” he added.
Wayne, who works in the in the Imaging Physics and Radiation Safety department at the Freeman Hospital, is fundraising for his trip to Perth and you can find out more about the World Transplant Games, which take place from 15 to 22 April, here.