Man born with four kidneys walks through Manchester on charity trek

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He was born with a unique condition and is now raising money for charity by walking from one end of Great Britain to the other.

A man born with four kidneys is currently taking on a gruelling charity challenge of walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for Kidney Research UK.

When he was 10 months old Tom Goodwin received life changing treatment at Bristol Sick Children’s Hospital, where his unique condition was spotted and successfully treated by an NHS renal specialist.

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Tom’s rogue kidney was removed, and he was left with three functioning kidneys, which he has to this day.

Tom Goodwin is walking from Land’s End to John O’GroatsTom Goodwin is walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats
Tom Goodwin is walking from Land’s End to John O’Groats | Tom Goodwin

His parents were advised that Tom could be prone to UTIs and he had to take daily antibiotics as a child, which his parents dubbed “magic medicine”.

Calling himself “Kidney Tom” in tribute to the late Sir Captain Tom, who raised £32.5m for the NHS, the 33-year-old is hoping to raise £10,000 for Kidney Research UK by walking 1,000 miles.

During his challenge Tom has been meeting members of the kidney community, including Professor Rachel Lennon from The University of Manchester.

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Tom Goodwin talking to Professor Rachel Lennon in Manchester during his charity trekTom Goodwin talking to Professor Rachel Lennon in Manchester during his charity trek
Tom Goodwin talking to Professor Rachel Lennon in Manchester during his charity trek | Jessica Hay

Rachel is professor of nephrology at The University of Manchester and a consultant paediatric nephrologist at the Royal Manchester Children’s hospital.

Her research group is based at the Wellcome Centre for Cell-Matrix Research.

Prof Lennon’s research has been supported by Kidney Research UK over a number of years.

Tom Goodwin talking to Professor Rachel Lennon in ManchesterTom Goodwin talking to Professor Rachel Lennon in Manchester
Tom Goodwin talking to Professor Rachel Lennon in Manchester | Jessica Hay

Together with her team she is investigating potential treatments for Alport syndrome through studying kidney organoids (mini kidneys made from Alport patients’ cells) as well as trying to prevent kidney damage in the disease membranous nephropathy.

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