Marcus Gardiner-Hill

From Ireland to China - Cycling to Help Save Lives

Fundraising for University of Leicester
raised of £10,000 target
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
Cycling from Ireland to China to raise funds for kidney research and awareness of kidney disease
Improving clinical outcomes for patients with IgA nephropathy by translating scientific advances through collaborations with academic, charitable and industrial sectors.


In September 2021 my close friend, Charlie became seriously ill. Previously healthy, suddenly his kidneys stopped working. At the age of 29, in order to stay alive, Charlie needed to go on dialysis immediately. Four hours every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Although life saving, a tough gig.

I was shocked by this sudden, life changing event for my friend. Suffering from the chronic side effects of kidney treatment, including severe headaches and muscle cramps, Charlie told me that he felt that his life was ‘out of control’, that he was ‘handcuffed to the dialysis machine’ and that ultimately his life was now ‘totally dependent on other people’. But sadly, Charlie is not alone, with one in ten people worldwide suffering from kidney disease.

At the University of Leicester and the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, my mother, Caroline is Renal Research Manager working alongside Professor Jonathan Barratt, who is leading ground breaking research specialising in the kidney disease Charlie has, called IgA Nephropathy. This condition develops when a germ fighting protein, called immunoglobulin A builds up in the kidneys, causing inflammation and damage. It is the most common form of glomerulonephritis worldwide and an important cause of kidney failure. Click on this link to find out more about Professor Barratt’s research

So I decided to try and raise some much-needed funds for the world leading kidney research happening at Leicester, by pedalling from Dublin, Ireland to Dengfeng, China (over 22,000 kms) on my second-hand bicycle. I’ve already raised £1, 500 thanks to kind donations from family and friends. Now I’ve reached India, over two thirds of my journey completed, I am focussed on completing my challenge to reach China and raising £10,000 for kidney research.

SUPPORT my cycle challenge, and let’s help beat kidney disease globally!

So, how can you make a difference?

* FOLLOW my journey on social media platforms and SHARE my story with your own contacts:

*Become my friend on Facebook and follow my challenge

*Follow me on Instagram

*DONATE whatever you can to Leicester's IgA Nephropathy Research charity by clicking on the JustGiving GIVE NOW link on this page.

University of Leicester Charity Registration No. 1117866 HMRC Registered

Your kind and generous donations will help to deliver global kidney research aimed at improving and saving lives.

Thank you for your support.


What is IgA nephropathy?

IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is a kidney disease that commonly appears for the first time in young adults and can lead to kidney failure with the requirement for lifelong dialysis or a kidney transplant. Worldwide IgAN is a common cause of kidney failure and it is estimated that globally 1 in 10 patients who need dialysis treatment have kidney failure because of IgAN. At present, there is no effective treatment for IgAN and while a kidney transplant can transform the lives of IgAN patients who are on dialysis there is the risk that the IgAN may recur in the transplant and lead to loss of the transplant.

The Leicester IgA Nephropathy Research Group

This is a partnership between the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. The Group has been established for over 25 years and works closely with patients, charities, including Kidney Research UK, and the pharmaceutical industry.

About the campaign

Improving clinical outcomes for patients with IgA nephropathy by translating scientific advances through collaborations with academic, charitable and industrial sectors.

About the charity

University of Leicester

Verified by JustGiving

RCN HMRC Registered
Leicester is consistently one of the most socially inclusive of the UK’s leading universities with a long-standing commitment to providing fairer and equal access to higher education. Our commitment to an inclusive and accessible culture opens the doors to the very best, no matter their background.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £1,190.25 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations

* Charities pay a small fee for our service. Find out how much it is and what we do for it.