Birmingham security guard’s marathon efforts to become a kidney donor for his wife

A Birmingham security guard is fighting to stay fit to donate his kidney to his wife.

Rae and Shelley Black at their fundraising cake stall in Millennium Point

Rae and Shelley Black at their fundraising cake stall in Millennium Point

Rae and Shelley Black, who both work at Millennium Point in the City Centre, have been married for 12 years with two boys aged 13 and 17.

But in 2011 Shelley was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, which causes kidney functions to lower. It has one of the longest waits for transplants and Shelley is one of the three million people in the UK currently waiting for a kidney transplant — so Rae decided to donate his own.

“I used to be 18-and-a-half stones,” Rae said. “I was told one of my kidneys needed to be in better shape to be able to give her a better kidney for a better transplant to happen, so I took up running and I got the bug — I absolutely love it.”

Rae will be running the Manchester Marathon and then the London Marathon two weeks later to raise money for kidney research and to give himself the best possibility of becoming a donor for his wife.

The couple from Woodgate are selling cakes at the entrance of Millennium Point until 2pm today (10th March).

The goal is to raise £2,100 by mid-April, and Rae is already well on the way to that target thanks to other previous events.

“We have £1,800 before what we made today and got more things going on,” he said. “But it’s also about raising awareness about potential kidney problems.”

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