A YOUNG man has walked ten miles for kidney research – despite being left exhausted by the failure of his own kidneys.

Dan Skelton, 22, of Helmsley, told today how he had been determined to complete the Kidney Research UK walk in London on Sunday, even though he felt very tired.

Thanking his friend Carrie Wass for accompanying him, he said he aimed to raise £250 to fund research to help hundreds of other people across the country with kidney failure.

Dan, who was speaking out to back The Press’s Lifesavers campaign, said he had been diagnosed in 2006 with a kidney disease called Focal Segmental Glomeruli Sclerosis – FSGS.

“It was likely to have been caused after an infection, as my immune system ended up attacking my kidneys instead of the infection,” he said.

He has suffered side-effects, including scarring all over his upper body and swelling from prescribed drugs such as steroids, and his kidney function is now running at only 14 per cent.

He was expected to have to go on to dialysis in the next few months, but said doctors had originally expected him to need dialysis by spring. “I will keep fighting to stay off dialysis as long as I can,” he said.

Dan said he could not have a live donor transplant from his identical twin brother because the disease would recur before he was off the operating table.

Now, with his parents also likely to be unable to donate, he is looking realistically at needing a transplant from a stranger on the Organ Donor Register.

“However, I will cope and lead my life as best I can whatever happens, whether that means being on dialysis or having a transplant, I just have to make the best of the life I have.”

He said he was speaking out to raise awareness and help others. “I have a great supporting family and some great friends and that is all I need to make me feel happy in life. If I have the love of family and friends I can deal with anything.”

Our campaign for donors

Our Lifesavers campaign aims to get an extra 20,000 people in our region on to the Organ Donor Register by the end of 2010.

To join:

• Go online at organdonation.nhs.uk

• Phone the 24-hour donor line on 0300 123 23 23.

• Text SAVE to 84118.

Can we help?

Are you waiting for an organ transplant? Why not help us to help you?

As part of our Lifesavers campaign, we are keen to raise awareness of organ donation and what it means to the people involved.

If you have a story to tell, you can phone 01904 567131, email newsdesk@thepress.co.uk or write to Newsdesk, The Press, 76-86 Walmgate, York, YO1 9YN.