Blind transplants patient's 10k run for charity

After losing his sight, Anthony Rebori then suffered kidney failure and needed a transplant. Catherine Scott reports.

Blind kidney transplant patient Anthony Rebori has raised thousands of pounds for Sheffield Hospitals Charity.

Anthony, 51, from Bramley, Rotherham, started to struggle witih his sight when he was 25. Within three years he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa - a disease of the eye that leads to loss of vision and blindness. He now can see very little.

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The aound 15 years ago he started to get really achy leg muscles, extreme fatigue and nausea.

“I thought it was normal and caused by my work, but after a time I went to see the GP as it wasn’t getting any better and he referred me to the hospital,” explains Anthony. “A test found I had protein in my urine, and it started from there. For ten years immunosuppressants controlled my symptoms. But then my creatinine levels were found to be really high, resulting in me needing dialysis.

“I found that bearable and I did it at night while I slept so it wasn’t any trouble. But I knew at some point I would need a transplant, so I was added to the organ transplant waiting list. I was on it for five years, and then on 15 June last year, I received a phone call that I had got a donor and the next day I was given the transplant. It was such a relief, but I had mixed feelings - it really made me think that someone had died so that my life could be better. It was a special, but humbling feeling.

“It was then that I decided to do some fundraising, in memory of my donor, for whom I will be forever grateful, and to thank all the exceptional staff on the Renal Unit at the Northern General Hospital.”

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Whilst on dialysis, Anthony met Trevor Whitehead, who moved in next door. Trevor had a passion for running, and inspired Anthony to run.

After his transplant, Anthony trained with Trevor as his guide, and together they worked their way up from 1km to 15km. The apri recently took part in the Sheffield 10k

“Without Trevor’s support, hard work and patience I would never have been able to take part. I couldn’t run at all before my transplant, I just felt so ill with no energy and got out of breath very quickly. But being blind made it doubly hard.

“I have fantastic friends and they’ve seen me go through everything. All my donations are from my friends - it means a lot and the support on the day of the 10k was incredible.” So far, Anthony has raised just under £2,000 for Sheffield Hospital’s Charity.