Sarah Gunn sadly lost her father, John, 74, from Barwell, Leicestershire to COVID-19. He had end stage kidney failure and had dialysis three times a week at the Hamilton Renal Dialysis Unit in Leicester to keep him alive. Patients with chronic kidney disease and end stage kidney failure have to adjust to many difficult changes in the way they live their life’s. That’s why Sarah has decided to walk, run and cycle 150 miles during May for the National Kidney Federation.

The charity is run by kidney patients for kidney patients, supporting three million people with Chronic Kidney Disease and 60,000 patients who have end stage kidney failure. The charity also supports dialysis and transplanted patients and their carers.

John enjoyed family day trips on his canal cruiser, loved holidaying in Cornwall and adored his two dogs.  “Having dialysis is very life changing, talking to other people who are going through your situation can really help in accepting and understanding it. Being 74, my dad wasn't a great user of modern technology so my mum used the National Kidney Federation website and Facebook page for advice and information on everything from dietary changes, to medical information, to holiday dialysis so that he could carry on living life as best as he could.”

“I wanted to something positive during my bereavement leave that helps other people going through the same thing my Dad went through, something to keep me motivated. I thought combining cycling, running and walking would be an ideal challenge! I picked 150 miles because I wanted it to be manageable with my recurrent anterior cruciate ligament injury from years of figure skating.”

“The NFK patient’s helpline is free to us and offers medical information leaflets, help and advice – with trained staff answering around 200 calls a week. The service has seen an increase since COVID-19 and is support entirely by generous donations and through supporters such as Sarah. Without Sarah’s support, we would be unable to offer the services to kidney patients!” says Pete Revell, Head of Fundraising.

Sarah is completing the challenge in the villages around where she lives, Stoke Golding in Leicestershire. She is returning to work at Leicester Royal Infirmary so will be fitting in the mileage between working in the as a Medicines Management Pharmacy Technician.

“My inspiration for this challenge will always be the spirit and courage that of my Dad, John”

There’s still time to support Sarah by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sarahlgunn