Rebecca Puts Her Best Foot Forward in Aid of the National Kidney Federation.

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, yoga teacher and transplant recipient Rebecca Smith, based in Matlock Derbyshire, felt deflated like so many of us when stay at home restrictions came in to place to stay safe. To conquer the shielding boredom and to boost wellbeing and fitness levels, Rebecca decided to take on the National Kidney Federation (NKF) Best Foot Forward Challenge.

The NKF Best Foot Forward challenge took place in June 2021 and all fundraisers signed up could either walk or run 60,000 steps to raise money for kidney patients. The 60,000 steps represented the 30,000 people in the UK on dialysis and the 30,000 people who have received a transplant. The step challenge could be completed within the month of June, over a week or even a day!

Rebecca tells us more about her reasons of stepping up to the challenge; "During shielding, my fitness levels had gone right down and my mental health really suffered. So when the NKF challenge came along it seemed like the best idea for me to have something to aim for. I also wanted to help support the NKF as they have been such a massive source of help to me, especially giving me supportive information when my kidneys had first failed.”

Rebecca was a perfectly healthy 36-year old until she had her daughter by C-section back in 2010. She explains; "Within about an hour of my operation, my body broke down and I landed in intensive care for 5 weeks, then the renal unit for another month. I then left hospital and went onto HD. After 7 months I was then transferred to PD overnight at home, which made things much easier with baby and all.”

She continued; "Amazingly, after about 3 years my kidney function slowly rose so I was able to come off dialysis altogether. I stayed off dialysis but from 2017, my kidney function started to decline again and I went back onto the transplant list in 2019. I was previously on the list from 2010-2015. Incredibly, within a week of being back on the list, I got the call and was successfully transplanted in April 2019.”

Prior to 2010, Rebecca had been a solicitor but after her kidney journey retrained as a yoga teacher. Describing her journey after her transplant she continued; "I was just beginning to return to teaching after my transplant and my daughter and I were starting to plan all the exciting things we could do now I was fit enough, however, Covid came along and I went in to shielding at the start of March 2020.”

"The Best Foot Forward challenge has given me such a great boost. Physically it has made me get up, get out and get moving again. Not only that, but also the outpouring of love and support I have received from family and friends for taking part in the challenge has been incredible.”

Initially Rebecca set her JustGiving fundraising page to £100 however raised an impressive £446. Rebecca said; "I totally smashed my initial fundraising target which is amazing!”

Overall, the Best Foot Forward challenge turned out to be one of the best fundraising events to date for the NKF – the most people to sign up for an event and the most money raised totaling around £30,000!

Are you inspired by Rebecca raising money in aid of the National Kidney Federation? Check out the NKF events page and see if there is a fundraising challenge for you: