Hello! This post is largely for people who’ve heard me on the radio and want more information about the Kidney Exercise Team, or transplants & kidney disease in general.
This website, as you can see above, was originally about me cycling to Paris – but I did that in 2016 and I’m in the process of turning it into a thing more generally about kidney disease, transplantation, the benefits of exercise, and the scientific research funded by the Kidney Care Appeal.
About the Leicester Kidney Exercise Team
The Kidney Care Appeal, amongst other things, fund work by The Leicester Kidney Exercise Team, who are doing all sorts of valuable research into the effects of exercise and physical fitness on kidney patients at various stages, as well as healthy people (as a control group). I took part in one study last year that involved me giving them a biopsy of my leg muscle (sounds painful but was actually fine!), and they recently wrote me a wonderful update about how the research is going, which you can find here.
In a few months I’ll be taking part in an exercise study they’re running, details of which can be found here. If you want more information about the work they do, get in touch either via their Facebook page or drop Alice Smith a line – if you’re interested, more details about Alice here.
Transplantation is the best available treatment for kidney failure. Having been lucky enough to have a live donor transplant (from my wife!) on April 20th, I can testify that the effects are astonishing. I feel hugely better, my mind is newly sharp, my body feels full of energy and I look forward to many years of renewed vigour. I wrote a detailed post about the experience here, which may be of use to anyone considering donation or suffering from kidney trouble themselves.
Registering for a donor card
Signing up for a donor card means that in the event of your death, you have a chance to help many other people live longer, happier lives. Signing up is very simple – pop over to the NHS organ donation website if you’re interested. It’s also important to talk to your family about it, so they are aware of your wishes (and also, it might nudge them to sign up too!).
About Polycystic Kidney Disease
I was born with Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney Disease (ADPKD, or PKD for short). There’s another type, Autosomal Recessive PKD, which hits earlier in life.
Both diseases are characterised by cysts which start off tiny and gradually expand – at different rates for different people – until they disrupt the function of the kidney so much that dialysis, transplant or death are the only options. My disease took the same course as my father’s, which led me to need transplantation age 42. He started dialysis around the same time.
That’s it! Feel free to drop me a line or leave a message on this post if you have any questions.