Primary School teacher, Laurie Dewhurst, has a hereditary kidney condition. In his younger years he was able to live a normal and active life, but having seen how the condition affected his late father, he knew that in time this would change dramatically.

Last year, aged 39, his kidney function began to fail very quickly - at one point dropping to just 3% - and this normally active man began to really struggle with even simple tasks like walking up the stairs.

He needed a transplant, fast, and reached out to friends and family to search for a match.

Laurie told us: “I was overwhelmed by how many people stepped forward. It was truly humbling and I will be forever grateful to all of them.”

Several of his friends went through a rigorous round of testing to be his kidney donor, and Andy Small, the husband of Laurie’s cousin, came out as the closest match.

Laurie said: “Andy was and is my hero; he ended up on the operating table and went through the long and painful recovery to help me live a better life. I will never forget this.”

After waking up from his operation Laurie immediately felt like a weight had been lifted off him: “It was amazing. I instantly felt so much better and was very quickly able to go back to being really active again.”

To thank Andy, and all the friends who stepped up, and also in recognition of how much the renal team at the Churchill Hospital means to him, Laurie decided to attempt the Three Peaks Challenge.

This famous event involves climbing the highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales within just 24 hours. Laurie was joined by his friends Mike and Jon, who had also both offered to be a match, and they set off in late August, successfully completing the challenge with just 18 minutes to spare.

“The challenge itself was a good balance of excitement and exhaustion and despite a couple of old injuries flaring up and the weather giving us a battering we crossed the finish line in under 24 hours”.

“The level of care I got from the Churchill team was simply incredible and it was their skills, along with Andy’s kindness, that fast-tracked my journey back to a normal life.

“I know how difficult life without a transplant can be, having seen my dad deal with years of dialysis and many infections before his transplant. So I will forever be grateful to all those who have helped me, and  I am really delighted to have raised over £1,500 for the hospital charity and been able to share my thanks to all so publicly.”

To support his fundraising efforts visit his Just Giving page here.

To find out more about organ donation visit: