A GP from Cumbria is running the Chicago marathon to raise money for St John’s Hospice in Lancaster.
Dr David Cheung, GP at Ash Trees Surgery in Arnside and Carnforth, will run the marathon in the US, after undergoing treatment for kidney cancer last year.
Dr Cheung found out he had cancer last August after opting to be an altruistic kidney donor – to someone he had never met – in June 2017.
He had an operation to remove the kidney and large tumour in October and is now all clear. Dr Cheung wants to promote the importance of carrying a donor card, how you can live with cancer and the benefit of exercise.
‘I wanted to highlight cancer and make people more aware of it. Cancer can happen to anybody, so that’s really important. And also to highlight about kidney donation because that was my original thing that I intended to do,’ he said.
Dr Cheung chose to become a donor after a member of his church, Lancaster Priory, donated a kidney to their son.
‘I thought what an amazing gift and what an amazing way to change someone’s life. Obviously there are risks of becoming a donor, but those risks are relatively small. So what an amazing gift,’ said Dr Cheung.
The GP will run the marathon 12 months after his operation, and has chosen to donate all funds raised to St John’s Hospice, where he used to work as a GP locum. So far he has raised just over two thirds of his £1,000 fundraising target.
The news follows reports that GPs are among growing numbers of altruistic kidney donors and are helping to reduce waits for kidney transplant operations.
Trustee of Give a Kidney and Surrey GP, Dr Paul van den Bosch, said in March that over 630 people in the UK have donated a kidney to someone they have never met since non-directed, or altruistic kidney donation was made possible in 2006, many of whom are GPs.
Dr Cheung also ran the London marathon last year, in aid of The Children’s Society, raising £2,899 to support the charity’s work.