A local business woman with kidney disease is marking World Kidney Day (8th March) by announcing she will run in the Swindon Half Marathon later this year.
Jasie Rai of the Sales and Marketing Hub aims to help raise awareness of living kidney donation and plans to donate proceeds from her run to charity Give a Kidney which raises awareness of non-directed kidney donation, (the act of donating a kidney to someone on the transplant waiting list), as well as the Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
Jasie will take on the challenge on September 9th, during Organ Donation Week. Jasie’s usual annual fundraiser is ‘East Meets West’ which she has run for the past three years, but due to other commitments, Jasie has decided to do something different this year.
Jasie has only one kidney herself having had one removed. She has a pyeloplasty on the remaining kidney and may eventually need a kidney transplant. Jasie enjoys running, which she uses as her way to reassure herself that despite her kidney’s ill-health she is still fit and well. However, she is not a natural and has not yet run more than 7 miles. So, 13 miles of running around Swindon is a huge challenge. Having sought medical advice and been given the go-ahead to register, she feels that even if she ends up walking some of the way, completing the 13 miles will be a massive achievement for her.
Jasie says: “With my remaining kidney now only functioning at 17%, it is very likely I will need a kidney transplant in future. If I am lucky enough to receive one, this will be one of the greatest gifts I could receive. As someone who is more of a giver than a receiver this is hard to come to terms with and I want to use my negative health situation to do something positive and raise awareness of organ donation and raise money for two charities close to my heart. It’s my Monday running friends Sam, Vanessa, Rachel and Emma who have helped convince and motivate me to take on running the half marathon, which will be an enormous challenge – but one which I’m looking forward to!”
The charity Give a Kidney – One’s Enough! has always been important to Jasie as it represents her cause explicitly. Her run will also support Wiltshire Air Ambulance (WAA). This charity is a member of Swindon BNI Read’s business referral group which has supported Jasie’s previous East Meets West fundraising. Given the outstanding invaluable work that WAA carries out, Jasie fundraising will support their efforts to raise their much-needed £8, 900 per day to keep them flying. To support Jasie please visit https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/jasierai1.
Bob Wiggins of charity Give a Kidney, which helps raise awareness of non-directed donation says, “We’re so grateful to Jasie for helping raise awareness of living kidney donation. There are currently around 5000 people in the UK on the transplant waiting list and around 250 people die each year in need of a kidney. Meanwhile millions of us are walking around with two perfectly healthy kidneys and can lead a full and healthy life with only one. Almost 650 people in the UK have now donated a kidney to someone they do not know, alongside around 1000 people each year who donate as living donors to a friend or family member, helping to transform many lives. It’s now a fairly common procedure and every transplant unit in the country has a living donation programme. If you are interested in helping change someone’s life, find out more at www.giveakidney.org”
Valerie Whistler, Partnerships Coordinator at Wiltshire Air Ambulance commented, “We are absolutely delighted that Jasie has chosen to be a part of team Wiltshire Air Ambulance for the Swindon Half Marathon, she is an inspiration to us all. A half marathon is quite an undertaking and we are so proud that she is taking on that challenge in order to help raise the £3.25 million we need every year to keep our helicopter flying and saving lives. We’d like to say a huge thank you to Jasie for choosing to support Wiltshire Air Ambulance.”