Electrical Contractor Mike Green celebrated the success of becoming a live donor to his sister Debbie by signing up and taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2021, in aid of the charity the National Kidney Federation (NKF).

Electrical contractor and business owner, Mike Green, based in Gloucester, lives with his partner Emma and two children, Charlie (11) and Chloe (7).

As many people are aware, the London Marathon is not just about the adrenalin pumping, the pure achievement and joy at the end of the finish line, or the dedicated training that comes with the 26.2 miles, it is also about giving something back to a chosen charity. Therefore Mike took up the mission to accomplish the race on Sunday 3rd October 2021.

Mike shares his story of how he became a live donor for his eldest sister Debbie; "Debbie was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia back in 2001 when she was 19. Debbie’s kidneys failed whilst undergoing treatment and she ended up on life support for 6 weeks. Thankfully she pulled through and went into remission. Debbie then underwent haemodialysis 3 times a week for 3.5 years. The Oncologists wanted to wait until they felt that the risk of relapse was lower especially because you are immune suppressed when you receive a transplant.

My dad donated a kidney to Debbie in 2004. This transplant lasted for 15 years and Debbie had her Son, Degan who is 13. The last 2 years the kidney started to gradually fail so I underwent testing, and I was a perfect match!

Debbie really recovered brilliantly after the operation, she said from the moment she woke up in recovery how much better she felt! I donated my kidney in September 2019 so just before Covid 19, luckily. Debbie, like all other clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) patients, has had to be very careful but I am looking forward to seeing her travel again, she does love a holiday! Debbie’s son is her world and to be able to see her make memories with him means a lot.

The recovery for me in all honesty was hard and slow. Having always lived an active lifestyle with regular exercise, running a business and undertaking manual work along with having young children meant I had to take things slower for a while. I will say however the reward of seeing Debbie now far outweighs this, and I am so pleased I was able to donate a kidney.

I have always been into exercise and to run a marathon has always been an ambition of mine, so I wanted to be able to show that even after donating a kidney running a marathon is still possible!

The training was tricky to fit in due to work and family commitments, but I tried to run 3 times a week in preparation for the big day. I really did look forward to it! It was an amazing experience and to raise money and awareness of such an important cause is the icing on the cake! 

My partner Emma and the children were there on the day as my supporters, as well as Debbie and her family.

I am so happy and thankful to everyone has been helping me to raise funds for the NKF. I am just driving for more sponsorship now and I want to raise as much as I can!

If I can give any advice to anyone who may be considering become a live donor, I would say the recovery is hard, so make sure you can rest and try not to do too much too soon. However, nothing compares to the feeling of seeing your loved one come back to the person they once were.

Myself, Debbie and the rest of the family have not used any of the NKF services, however Debbie knows some fellow patients that use the charity’s services for support, mainly the helpline, and they have had nothing but praise for the help and support they have received.”

If you’re inspired by Mike and his London Marathon mission in aid of the National Kidney Federation, please check out the NKF events page and see if there is a fundraising challenge for you: https://www.kidney.org.uk/Pages/Events/Category/event?Take=19