A YOUNG man who saved his dying father by donating a kidney is to keep on giving by running a 10k race less than eight weeks after surgery.
Chris Cannings (24), of Manor Road, Brinsworth, had the operation after seeing his 53-year-old dad, Robert, struggle with kidney problems for years.
Now Chris is hoping to help other kidney patients by running the 10k Bupa Great Manchester Run for Kidney Research UK next month.
Robert, who had suffered from kidney problems for 20 years and was on dialysis since his kidneys failed in 2008, said: “He has literally saved my life.”
Chris, who aims to raise £10,000 in next month’s run, said that giving away one of his kidneys to his dad was the easiest decision he had ever made.
“He was in hospital around 12 hours a week and it just ruins your life,” Chris said.
“There was one person who was waiting eight years for a kidney, so I decided to put myself forward for my dad.”
Complications meant that it took 16 months from when Robert’s kidneys failed in 2008 uintil the operation could go ahead.
Chris said that the whole process had been emotional for him but insisted that he had made “absolutely the right decision.”
He added: “It hit me a bit when I went on the kidney ward at Northern General Hospital before the procedure.
“It was a bit weird when I was in hospital because I was the only one there who was actually fit and healthy and some of the nurses probably thought: ‘What’s he doing here at such a young age?’”
Although the surgeons advised Chris not do anything too strenuous for a few weeks, the 24-year-old said that he was determined to complete the charity run next month.
He said: “The way I see it, every penny that I raise is effectively saving my dad’s life because he is still taking anti-rejection drugs for the new kidney, so the money will hopefully go towards new research.
“Sometimes I do feel a bit out of breath but it’s slowly getting back to normal and what’s important is my dad can lead a relatively normal life now.
“He didn’t say much at first when I offered him my kidney. I think half of him wanted to do it but then the other was thinking about my health.”
Chris has gathered friends from up and
down the country to support his fund-raising efforts and between them they have raised nearly £5,000 so far.
Robert said that he was “over the moon” about what Chris had done for him but admitted that he was worried about his son’s health afterwards.
He added: “I wanted to make sure that Chris would be all right after this, that was my main priority, but I feel like I have got a lot more freedom now.
“Before, I had to have dialysis on a regular basis and that just left me helpless and was making me weaker and weaker.
“I can now have a holiday, eat and drink what I want and lead a relatively normal life, which is something I have not been able to do for a very long time.”
To sponsor Chris on his charity run, which takes place in Manchester city centre on May 16, visit www.justgiving. com/ten4tenchallenge.