If you need additional assistance reading our website please use our accessibility tool.


Kielder runner stays on track despite life-altering surgery

Thursday, 06 September, 2018
Kielder runner stays on track despite life-altering surgery

A man who donated his kidney through the NHS Paired Kidney Scheme started training for the Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon just weeks after undergoing the life-altering surgery, in order to raise money to support other renal patients.

Gary Carter from Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees, has taken part in every Kielder Marathon since the race started back in 2010. And despite only having the major surgery earlier this year, he is determined to complete the scenic 26.2 mile route around Kielder Reservoir on Sunday October 7, 2018.

The 44-year-old became a donor under the Paired Kidney Scheme after learning that he wasn’t a direct match for his wife, Vicky, who was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) in 1991.

PKD is the largest hereditary disease in the world, which causes small, fluid-filled sacs to develop in the kidneys. Vicky inherited the disease from her mother.

The progression of it meant that the UK donor list would mean too long a wait, so Vicky and Gary opted for the scheme which attempts to pair donors and recipients across the UK. Kidneys are swapped between one incompatible donor and recipient, and another mismatched pair.

Determined to raise money for the PKD Charity that has supported his wife – as well as helping those who suffer from the disease – Gary got back into his running shoes and started training just eight weeks after his surgery in January this year.

Gary said: “Training has been harder this year but I’m determined to run the race and raise money for PKD Charity UK. About 70,000 adults and children in the UK may have Polycystic Kidney Disease or PKD – life-threatening inherited conditions that can cause renal (kidney) failure and affect other organs in the body.

“The charity supports those affected, their families and their carers while also raising awareness and funding research. The work they do is fantastic and I’m proud to support such a brilliant cause while keeping my track record for completing every Kielder Marathon intact. It’s an amazing race with a great atmosphere and crowd – I just wouldn’t want to miss it!”

Race Director, Steve Cram, said: “Gary’s determination to continue his ever-present streak of Kielder Marathons is inspirational. We wish Gary the very best at the Kielder Marathon and every success in his fundraising for PDK Charity UK. See you at the start line!”

The Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon Weekend 2018 is delivered by Events of the North in conjunction with Northumbrian Water, Active Northumberland, Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

The weekend’s events, which attract runners from all across the UK, are all based around Northumbrian Water’s picturesque Kielder Reservoir and waterside sites and include the Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and the Run Bike Run.

For more information on the events taking place at Active Northumberland Kielder Marathon Weekend 2018 and to book your place visit