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Asda Watford boss who gave wife a kidney lining up for London Marathon
Supermarket boss Andrew Holmes will line up at the start of the London Marathon less than one year after donating a kidney to his wife.
Asda Watford manager Andrew and line manager Graham Williamson have joined the Nestle team for the annual event, which takes place on Sunday, April 17.
The pair will be raising money for the Royal Free Hospital’s Kidney Patient Association and Asda’s national breast cancer campaign Tickled Pink.
Andrew’s wife Claire Catney was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease, a genetic illness that affects the function of the organs last year.
After tests, Andrew was found to be a perfect match and agreed to donate one of his own kidneys to her and the successful operation took place at the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead.
“It’s nearly a year on. I’ve had no problems whatsoever,” he said.
“Getting back to running was quite tough but I’m now stronger than I was before the operation.
“Claire has recovered really well. She’s still got to take medication but the kidney is functioning well.
“I never even thought about donating it. It’s one of those things you could sit there and get yourself in a real state about losing a kidney. But in reality, I just never thought about it. There was no decision to take.”
Andrew and Graham now aim to raise £5,000 for the hospital’s kidney patients association and £7,000 for Tickled Pink.
Other fundraising events Andrew, 43, has lined up include the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, a London triathlon and the Berlin marathon.
Andrew said: “I’ve been trying to do the London Marathon for three years. When we told Nestle about the cause and they story behind it, they backed us both and put us on their team.”
Through Nestle, the pair have been taking part in a coaching scheme that will help to see them both cross the finish line in less than four hours.
In preparation, Andrew also completed the Silverstone half marathon in 1hr 55mins.
He added: “The last big training session was on Sunday and so far, we’re in pretty good shape. With a bit of a push, we should be able to get under four hours.”
Asda Watford is looking for local charities to support over the next year. For more information, telephone the St Albans Road store on 01923 250380.