Jennifer’S North 10K After Donating Kidney To Husband

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Every runner has a story, it’s time to start yours. Enter the Simplyhealth Great North 10k at: Greatrun.org/North10k

A woman who gave her husband the gift of life by donating one of her kidneys is set to take on a running challenge this year to raise money for the hospital that gave him a new lease of life.

Jennifer Horton, from Riding Mill in Northumberland, donated a kidney to her husband Bob in a transplant operation last August.

Bob had been diagnosed with kidney disease four years earlier and with his condition deteriorating, without the transplant he would have been reliant on dialysis for life.

His kidney was functioning at less than 12 per cent and the only option was for him to join the organ donation register.

His selfless wife Jennifer then underwent tests which showed that she was a match and following a year of checks, both underwent the transplant operation at the Newcastle Freeman Hospital.

Jennifer says that there was ‘no doubt’ in her mind that she would offer to donate one of her kidneys to her husband and that she knew it was the right thing to do.

Following the operation and her recovery, she decided that she wanted to fundraise for Ward 38 at the hospital to thank them for their service and care during their treatment.

With Bob, 73, still recovering from the operation, Jennifer decided to sign up to the Simplyhealth Great North 10k Gateshead, which takes place on Sunday 8 July as part of the family’s fundraising.

The event will be a training run as she prepares to take on the Simplyhealth Great North Run in September.

Jennifer, 53, said: “Four years ago, Bob was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, which came as a huge shock to us. To start off with, his kidney function was not dangerously low.

“But after 2016, his function dropped to less than 12 per cent and we began to think of options as Bob didn’t want to live his life on dialysis.

“I always knew that I would be prepared to donate one of my kidneys to him, he didn’t even need to ask me so when the idea that Bob should go on the transplant list came to us, I instantly volunteered.

“The process was quite long as I had to get tested to see if I was a match, before undergoing around a year of checks to make sure that my kidney function was strong enough for me to survive with one of them too.

“Finally, in August 2017 we both underwent our own operations at the Freeman. It took around five hours and we each had our own team of doctors who worked together, it was amazing really!

“I wasn’t prepared for how much pain I would be in after but I was determined to get better quickly so I could go and see Bob in recovery.

“He is doing really well and although it will take him up to a year to fully recover, he is already feeling the benefits of having a new working kidney.

“Bob spent two weeks in hospital for the transplant and I was in for a few days. The care that we both received was second to none, the equipment they have is unbelievable. It inspired us to want to repay them in some way.”

Jennifer and Bob are determined to raise £5,000 for the hospital this year. Following her recovery, Jennifer started running and walking and signed up to the North East’s biggest 10k running event this summer.

Whatever their pace or motivation, thousands of runners will share the satisfaction of completing a 10k challenge as they take in the sights of the NewcastleGateshead Quayside at the Simplyhealth Great North 10k.

Participants then enter Gateshead International Stadium where their family and friends can gather to cheer them on as they experience their own finish line feeling.

Jennifer, who owns deli café The Corbridge Larder, added: “Following such a serious operation, it took me a while to get my mojo and fitness back, so I thought about doing a real challenge for charity to help me along the way.

“I have been trying to get out walking to help my recovery and I thought by taking on two running events would be something worth supporting.

“Hopefully we can raise a lot of money for a great cause as the team there are amazing people who are saving lives every day.”

To support Jennifer’s fundraising, visit: www.justgiving.com/teams/Cuthbert

Every runner has a story, it’s time to start yours. Enter the Simplyhealth Great North 10k at: Greatrun.org/North10k