Relentless fundraiser Tanya O’Neill is gearing up for the fast-approaching Nation Radio Cardiff 10K – the seventh of ten races she is completing on behalf of Kidney Wales this year.
A 39-year-old Office Manager based in Cardiff, Tanya first became aware of the importance of supporting the Welsh indigenous charity after her cousin Amy was diagnosed with IGA Nephropathy in 2005, at just 18 years old.
IGA Nephropathy, also known as Berger’s disease, is a disease that occurs when an antibody called immunoglobulin lodges in the kidneys. This results in local inflammation that, over time, may hamper the kidneys’ ability to filter wastes from the blood.
“It came as a huge shock for us all, imagining how this was going to affect her life. But Amy took it all in her stride with regular check-ups and taking her medication to slow down how quickly the disease would affect her kidneys.
“Amy stayed relatively stable for about four years but in 2009 her kidney function was starting to deteriorate, and the doctors started talking about dialysis and transplants. My cousin was lucky both her parents were a match for live donation and it was decided that her mother would be the one and the transplant took place in April 2010.”
Thirteen years on, Tanya’s cousin is doing well. Recently married, she has a fulfilling career as a travel agent store manager, and a fantastic support network with her family and friends, several of which she met through Kidney Wales.
Since then, Tanya has been involved in many fundraising activities so that more people living with kidney disease can look forward to a better quality of life. This year, she set the bar higher than ever before, with a target of completing ten races, all taking place in Wales, and amounting to a staggering distance of 1500K.
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With her Kidney Wales vest on, Tanya has already crossed the finish line of six races so far, including the Newport Marathon and the Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival in Builth Wells, as well as several half marathons and 10Ks, raising over £500.
“Kidney Wales had a strong positive impact on my cousin’s life and future. I love being able to raise money for a charity close to our family’s heart by doing something I thoroughly enjoy.
“I run the majority of my races with my running partner Myfanwy Thomas, who runs and raises money for Parkinson’s disease. We also train together, three to four times a week, so that on the days I don’t feel like putting on my trainers I have someone motivating me to get out there. Without my partner and my son’s support I wouldn’t be able to fit it in!”
This is not the first year that Tanya runs in the Nation Radio Cardiff 10K. After completing the 2016 race in 1:05:33 and last year’s race in 54:42, she is hoping to get as close to 50:00 as possible this September.
[bs-quote quote=”What Tanya is accomplishing, on a personal level and for the charity, is outstanding. Her generosity shines through her dedication, which only seems to strengthen each year. Like so many of our fundraisers, she and her family are the inspiration at the heart of the work that we do at Kidney Wales.
Whether you run 10K or 1500K this year, you are helping us make a difference – advancing research, supporting patients and raising awareness – with all money raised by the event going a long way to supporting our activities.” style=”style-12″ align=”center” author_name=”Nic Clarke” author_job=”Director of Fundraising and Operations, Kidney Wales” author_avatar=”https://www.wales247.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/nic-clarke.jpg”][/bs-quote]
Anyone interested in joining Tanya in the Nation Radio Cardiff 10K can sign up at: https://www.cardiff10k.cymru/cardiff-10k/preregister2018/