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Kidney patient Mark Hallam to organise Dialysis Olympic Games in York
A PATIENT undergoing treatment for kidney failure is inviting people to get involved with the Dialysis Olympic Games, due to be held in York next year.
Mark Hallam, 48, who has daily dialysis at his home in Clifton, is founder of the Games and is urging people from hospital renal units across the north of England to join in the event, which is planned for September.
Events are expected to include table tennis, badminton, archery and long jump, along with family fun and stalls.
Mark said: “I thought of the idea after watching the Paralympics and watching the athletes doing brilliant things.
“I looked it up and there’s the Transplant Games, but there’s nothing for people having dialysis. There will be some athletic events, although we are not expecting people to run as fast as Usain Bolt even though I am sure there are a few dialysis patients that could give him a run for his money.
“The Dialysis Olympic Games is hoping other dialysis patients from places such as Hull, Leeds, Bradford, and Sheffield will attend, whatever their form of dialysis.
“To have a transplant it’s good to be as physically fit as possible; it helps you to recover quickly. To anyone thinking of taking part, I would say you should get involved to become healthy and get your body ready for a transplant.”
Mark, who has the support of staff at York Renal Unit, has so far had interest registered from Liverpool, Bolton and as far afield as America.
Born with blocked capilleries in his kidneys, Mark started dialysis – a process for removing waste and excess water from the blood – as a teenager in the 1980s.
When he started, the solution used at the time made him very unwell.
Although he has had two transplants, both have failed over time and Mark now has three hours of dialysis a night.
Mark who works in the pensions department of NHS England, said: “Sometimes when the machine is playing up you just want to kick the thing, but I try and stay positive and I think it’s good to work,” said “It is very tough to be a dialysis patient, and I know up to three people a day die while awaiting a transplant. I also know that we kidney patients are a resilient bunch.”
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