For as long as I can remember I've always had kidney disease.
My first real memory of it impacting my life was missing the Year 3 Juniors ice skating party, having been hospitalised with an infection. Years later it also meant my darling son Dylan was born terribly premature and will forever be severely disabled because of it.
In 2015 Stage 5 kidney failure finally caught up with me. Life became dark, and I learned to hate kidney disease as it had stolen so much from me and Dyls. It'd taken Dyls normality, my chance of more children, contributed to my marriage ending, and so many other opportunities from me. No matter how much I fought, it returned day after day. It was a relentless and unforgiving monster that I had to live with.
However, a light at the tunnel came in February 2016. After rigorous testing, my selfless mother was confirmed as a positive "live donor" match. On 9th August 2016 at 8.30am, I stood at the theatre lift with my brave mummy as she waited to be operated on in order to save my life. Watching those lift doors close with her on the other side was one of the worst moments of my life.
She, and my father (for his unfaltering care of us after surgery) are heroes. When my world was imploding, they dragged me through. When my body was giving up, my mother stepped in to save me.
Nine months later and life has not been without its challenges. Sometimes expectation versus reality becomes a difficult pill to swallow. I've now had so much surgery my lovely cousin jokes he's going to write to our MP and tell him I'm a waste of tax payers money! The truth is I'm better than I was, maybe not as well as I hoped.
But there is always hope. And that is where you come in by donating whatever you can. Kidney disease is a lifelong chronic condition that not only affects the individual but the entire family. Kidney Wales Foundation work tirelessly to ensure the best facilities are at renal units, and that families have the best support network possible to help deal with this life threatening condition.
I have the most amazing bunch of friends, family and colleagues in Kate's Kidney Crew, who are taking part in the Cardiff 10k to raise money for Kidney Wales Foundation. This great charity helps assist people like the unfaltering, magnificent Nephrology and Transplant team in UHW, to whom I owe my life. 💗