A TRANSPLANT patient whose mother donated her a life-saving kidney, is set to celebrate a year of good health by running the Cardiff 10K on behalf of the charity who supported her through her illness.

Katie Lawless, 35, from Barry, will be running to raise money for race organisers Kidney Wales who rely solely on public donations to fund their work.

Ms Lawless developed kidney disease after suffering scarring from repeated infections as an infant, which further deteriorated after the birth of her son.

Her condition declined rapidly in 2015 and Ms Lawless was told she would need to undergo an invasive operation to allow her to receive dialysis treatment.

The procedure was unsuccessful and further complications developed. Shortly after, Ms Lawless was informed she would require a transplant.

Ms Lawless was also experiencing difficulties in other aspects of her life, including structural issues with her home and managing a divorce.

Reflecting on the time, she said: "It was really difficult processing everything that was happening to my health and attending countless doctors’ appointments, but then to have to deal with everything else at the same time was really challenging.

"I knew that a time would come when I would need a transplant but even then, you really can’t predict how you will feel when you’re told that only that will save your life."

Upon hearing the news, Ms Lawless' mum, Jill Atkins, immediately volunteered to be tested - against her daughter's wishes - to see if she was a suitable match.

This was confirmed in February 2016 and six months later, Katie and Jill were admitted to hospital for their respective operations, which were both successful.

Now a year later, and despite the fact that her kidney function is still relatively low, Katie has signed up to run this year’s Cardiff 10k road race to raise funds for the charity which supported her throughout her ordeal.

She has enlisted the support of 16 friends and colleagues to run with her on behalf of the charity close to her heart.

"Having spent my 34th and 35th birthday in hospital, I decided to make a '35 and Alive' list, and running the Cardiff 10k was on there," she said.

"Kidney Wales aren’t government funded and rely totally on donations and corporate donors, so it’s a very worthwhile cause."

Roy Thomas, chief executive of Kidney Wales, said: "Katie has demonstrated enormous bravery and strength throughout her life in respect to her health issues. We are so pleased to hear that her transplant was successful and couldn’t be happier that she is celebrating by running this year’s 10K.

"Unfortunately, many families across Wales will be going through similar situations to Katie and that’s why we are so thankful for the incredible work of our fundraisers who take on the Cardiff 10K, ensuring more research and funds are being dedicated to kidney disease each year."

To find out more about the event, visit the Cardiff 10K website at: www.cardiff10K.cymru or call 02920 343940.