Kidney donor Kathryn takes on London run

Kathryn Le Coz donated a kidney to her brother David.
Kathryn Le Coz donated a kidney to her brother David.

A past pupil of Ballymena Academy will be taking part in the London Landmarks Half Marathon in memory of her mother Heather Clarke.

Kathryn Le Coz will be running the half-marathon to raise awareness of the Kidney Research UK charity and the NHS organ donor register.

Mrs. Clarke, a music lecturer, was an organist at West Church and played for the Seven Towers Male Voice Choir.

The music department at Ballymena Academy was named after Mrs. Clarke when it opened 30 years ago.

Sadly, Heather passed away from polysistic kidney disease, a heriditary condition, in 1984.

Nine years ago, Kathryn donated a kidney to her oldest brother David Clarke, who was also struck by the disease Her brother Andrew, a manager in Galgorm, has also had a donor transplant.

Kathryn said: “My mummy was diagnosed with polysistic kidney disease kidney failure when I was a little girl but sadly also contracted cancer at the same time before having the chance to benefit from a kidney transplant.

“After my annual living donor check-up last year revealed my blood pressure was getting too high, I decided to take up running again to try to reduce it rather than going onto medication.

“Having never run more than 10k before, the half marathon has always been one challenge too far but I am determined to make it around even if have to walk, hop or crawl parts of it.

“I am forever grateful to the amazing members of the living donor team and all the renal staff and surgeons in both Guys Hospital London where I did all my tests and where I receive my annual check ups and in BelfastCity Hospital where both transplants took place.

“I want to make it through this race in memory of my mummy, who was also being treated in Belfast City renal unit.

“The half marathon will take place just a few days before what would have been her 80th birthday.”

Donations can be made through Kathryn’s Just Giving page.