Southam woman sets her sights on a world first at marathon

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So what’s the challenge?

When Southam woman Maddy Warren runs the London Marathon on Sunday she will be making history. She will be the first woman on dialysis to have run the race.

How has diagnosis 
affected her life?

At the age of 13 Maddy was diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) which caused her kidneys to fail and is resistant to steroids, chemotherapy and immuno-suppressive medication.

The 34 year old has been on dialysis ever since and has spent more than 40,000 hours on a machine and had a needle in her arm more than 5,000 times.

But she has not let this stop her from living a productive and active life.

She runs her own human resources consultancy company, is an advocate patient for Quanta Dialysis Technologies and has several sports and fitness-related hobbies including skydiving, horse riding, skiing and zumba.

What an amazing 
attitude. How does she feel about it?

She said: “Instead of being a prison sentence, my awareness that I rely on a machine to stay alive has led to an existence that has been joyful, exciting and totally unexpected.

“It has left me feeling overwhelmingly positive and led me to strive to experience as much as I possibly can to make the most of the time I am so grateful for.

“I believe my life has been the richer for it despite so many physical and psychological challenges to overcome along the way, and I have always tried to push my physical fitness limits.

“Having climbed a few mountains and done a Tough Mudder Half I then had a really daft idea that running the marathon was a great plan. Especially as my dad ran it last year and I was totally inspired by him, even more so because he donated a kidney to me in 2003 in a sadly unsuccessful transplant attempt, so he is my kidney hero.

How does she feel about the challenge?

“This is not going to be easy, as dialysis only replaces ten to 15 per cent of normal kidney function.

“It requires approximately 35,000 strides, 40,000 heartbeats and 5,000 litres of blood to be pumped round in order to complete 26.2 miles. Plus 16 weeks of training at least three times a week before that.

“So I have given the pros and cons some thought.”

Maddy says that, on the bright side, she will not have to take any toilet breaks during the marathon thus not having to lose valuable time and momentum and that the pain of running the race will possibly not be as severe as that of putting large needles into her arm each night and sleeping next to a bleeping and flashing machine year after year.

But she also acknowledges that the long-term and short-term effects her condition and dialysis have had and have on her body will make the challenge even more gruelling.

What are the facts on kidney failure?

In the UK one person with kidney failure dies every day and 30,000 are on dialysis.

Each year, kidney disease kills more people than breast or prostate cancer.

To do her bit to tackle these issues and to make her marathon effort worth even more, Maddy is raising money for two charities - Kidney Care UK and Kidney Research UK.

She said: “These are not cheerful statistics, so I would be very grateful for any support you can offer to spur me on my way by donating to my chosen charities.”

For more information or to make a donation go to the uk.virginmoneygiving.com website and search for Madeleine Warren Kidneyless Marathon - London 2018.