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Simon and Gary's Epic Walk For Life

Mayor in Epic Walk for Life

Gary Spendlove, Mayor of Belper, is planning a 100 mile walk round Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire at the end of January to raise awareness of carrying an organ donor card. He’s doing the 7 day trek with Belper-based World Transplant Games athlete, Simon Elmore.

“There are 6,500 people on the transplant list in the UK, many in the local area. Around 1,000 people every year die waiting for a transplant”, explained Gary, 59, who has been training for the walk for weeks.

“Meeting Simon was an inspiration, as he has shown what can be achieved with the gift of a kidney, even though he was terribly ill before”.

The 41 year-old family man suffered kidney failure 8 years ago and he was struck down by serious health problems linked to it. In January 2015 after years of dialysis Simon received his life-saving kidney transplant.

A keen sportsman, Simon was driven by the desire to show how transformative a transplant can be. Within days of his surgery he was walking 3 ½ miles round the hospital, and within months he was competing in the British Transplant Games in Gateshead, winning several silver and bronze medals in a range of events from running relay races to archery. He has since gone on to compete at European and World Games.

”The Games are all about organ donation and without the special people who donate many of us would not be here at all,” says Simon.

Gary and Simon will be walking from one local hospital to another on a hilly and tough route, joined by as many people who are able to be there for all or part of the week. The 100 miles takes in Belper, Matlock Bath, Chesterfield, Mansfield, Ilkeston and Derby before ending back in Belper on Saturday 4th February.

The intrepid pair are planning to give a series of talks to build awareness about organ donation to different groups on the way, as well as fund-raising for a local renal support group VIRS, Anthony Nolan Trust, British Kidney Patient Association and the Nottingham Transplant Team. Their route and updates on progress will be on social media and a dedicated website throughout the walk.

Gary adds, “Simon and I would be delighted to have any help with sponsorship, just joining for a mile or two on the Walk for Life. Most importantly, though, become an organ donor at:”

For further information:

Gary Spendlove     07970 696486

·On average three people die every day in need of a transplant because there are not enough organs available

· One donor can save or transform up to nine lives

·There are currently around 7,000 people in the UK on the active waiting list – including around 200 children

·82% of the population definitely want to donate or would consider donating their organs – but only 50% have talked about it with their families

·Organ donation rates have dropped 3% in the last year

·Over the next five years we aim to deliver a revolution in the way people behave in relation to organ donation so that attitudes change and people will be proud to donate, when and if they can.

·In particular we want to:

1. Increase the number of people on the NHS Organ Donor Register

2. Stimulate conversations and debate about donation

3. Present donation as a benefit to families
in end-of-life and the grieving process

Source: NHS Blood and Transplant

Simon Elmore suffered kidney failure at 33 as a result of high blood pressure. He underwent regular dialysis at the Royal Derby Hospital until his transplant in Nottingham in 2015. During this period he also had a stroke, heart complications and many other associated health problems. After his transplant he competed in 10 pin bowling, flat bowls, archery, table tennis, cricket ball throw and relay races. In the World Transplant games in Mar del Plata, Argentina, in July 2015 Simon won 2 gold medals and achieved two personal bests. He now is an ambassador for Voluntary Independent Renal Support, a group for patients, friends and family living with kidney issues.

Raised so far

Raised: 45%

Team target: £2,500.00

Raised so far: £1,135.00

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Simon Elmore

British Kidney Patient Association - Simon and Gary's Epic Walk For Life page

36 donations



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Simon Elmore

Anthony Nolan - Simon & Gary's Epic Walk for Life

5 donations



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