Fundraising kidney patient to take on assault course challenge alongside donor dad
A new father who lost the function of both his kidneys only to have his life saved by his own donor dad, is taking on a military assault course to raise cash for Sheffield Hospitals Charity.
Curtis May-Allen, aged 27, from Killamarsh wants to thank staff at the Northern General Hospital’s renal unit who cared for him after his diagnosis, during dialysis and following his operation.
He will take on the Born Survivor 10k alongside dad Stephen May, aged 55, from Hackenthorpe and will be cheered on by daughter Amelia, aged 15 months, who was born just days before his kidneys failed.
Curtis said: “My life and my family’s life changed forever when I was diagnosed with IgA Nephropathy, a disease which involves the immune system and the kidneys.
“I’d gone to the doctors as I had headache for around a month. I just thought I was stressed and over working so didn’t go to the GP until I was forced to. I had a blood test, then just six hours later I was phoned and advised to go to the hospital.
“Two days later we were told I’d need a kidney transplant within the next three years and that it was likely that I would need dialysis. Both kidneys were affected. At 25 years old with a baby on the way it was the last thing we ever expected to happen.
“I was scared and worried for my family. I had lots of questions and was angry wondering why this had happened to me. After the diagnosis my health got slowly worse until my family and I didn’t recognise who I was.
“Things came to a head two weeks after our daughter; Amelia was born, when I found out that my kidneys had failed completely and that I needed peritoneal dialysis. I had to dialyse at home for eight hours a night.
“We then found out my dad was a kidney match. I had the transplant eight months after my original diagnosis. I now feel like a new me, so what better way to celebrate than by running around a field like a lunatic getting covered in mud.
“I started doing Born Survivor events a few years ago. I decided to do this one because I’m back to full strength and I can’t think of anything more fun to do to challenge myself.
“Living with Kidney Disease is not easy - trust me, I know. It can be debilitating, but it should not take over your life. The team at the Sorby Renal Unit at the Northern General Hospital took care of me at a really difficult point in my life.
“The team were always there to talk to about anything and were very caring and considerate, always managing to put us all at ease. Now it’s my turn to say thank you.”
To sponsor Curtis and ‘Team Kidney Bean’, visit
www.justgiving.com/fundraising/teamkidneybean. Alternatively, to donate to improve the lives of those with kidney disease, visit www.sheffieldhospitalscharity.org.uk/donate or call 0114 226 7351.