Dad set to walk 70 miles to thank charities for support after kidney donation

By Patrick Hollis   |   Meirionnydd and Arfon/Dwyfor reporter   |
Friday 17th September 2021 12:42 pm
@PaddyHollis123
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Gareth Charlton with his daughter, Jennie

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A DAD from Dyffryn Ardudwy who donated a kidney to his eldest daughter will walk 70 miles in three days to raise money for the people that supported his family.

Gareth Charlton, a 46-year-old father-of-two, donated a kidney to his eldest daughter Jennie two years ago.

Jennie was diagnosed with renal failure in February 2017, shortly before her 18th birthday. Two years later, Gareth donated one of his kidneys to her.

The 20-year-old was on dialysis for two years but a kidney donor could not be found for her and she had to put her A-level studies at college in Pwllheli on hold for two years.

Two years later, Jennie is 22, just starting her second year at Bath Spa University reading criminology and is extremely healthy and enjoying life.

Both Gareth and his wife Helen were tested to see if they could donate a kidney to their daughter.

Gareth was a match, and the transplant surgery was carried out at The Royal Liverpool Hospital. Gareth’s family received support from the hospital, Kidney Wales and the Gwynedd Kidney patients association, and will now raise money for both charities and the hospital.

He will raise the money by walking 70 miles.

Looking ahead to the walk, and explaining why he wanted to raise money, Gareth said: “To celebrate the second anniversary of the transplant I’m walking from the Ysbyty Gwynedd Renal unit to The Royal Liverpool Hospital, just under 70 miles, in three days. This is following on from my first anniversary walk from the Dialysis unit at Ysbyty Alltwen in Porthmadog to Ysbyty Gwynedd Renal unit.

“I also completed a Snowdon By Starlight challenge just six months after surgery.”

The three-day walk is also part of a wider challenge, as Gareth explained: “It’s also part of my 12 month challenge for Kidney Wales to walk the 531 miles to virtually visit every renal unit in Wales. This will be the longest walk I’ve ever done and the first time I’ve walked long distances on successive days.”

Gareth will start his walk on 25 September. To donate to his fundraising effort, and for more information about the walk, visit www.sponsorme.co.uk/garethcharlton/gareths-great-big-kidney-donation-walk.aspx

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