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Pupils pull together for charity

This is Staffordshire

781 days ago   Article ID# 1468182
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Kidney Research UK

STAFFORDSHIRE, U K (This is Staffordshire) - Teacher Rachel Eastwood has vowed to stay positive as she deals with a condition which led to her mum's death and affects a number of family members.

The 37-year-old saw her mum suffer with a genetic kidney disorder for seven years before she died.

Rachel herself has also been diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease and so has her daughter, brother and nephew. The condition causes cysts on the kidneys and can eventually lead to kidney failure.

Rachel and family members affected by it are currently fit and well. But they are using their diagnosis as a springboard to fund-raise to help make sure others don't suffer in the future.

Mum-of-three Rachel launched a campaign to raise 10,000 for charity at Endon High School yesterday.

She said: "I could sit and mope about what I have got, but I can't see the point. I would rather stay positive.

"My mother suffered a lot with the disease and it was awful.

"I know that through medical research, I won't have to suffer as much, but my daughter also has it and I don't want to see her or others suffering."

Rachel's mum Alma Wainwright, from Porthill, was diagnosed aged 38, but it wasn't until she hit her 60s that she was put on dialysis.

One of her sons was lined up to donate a kidney to her, but the operation couldn't go ahead and she died in January 2010, aged 70.

Rachel was diagnosed aged 21 and is monitored regularly, as is brother Jared and nephew Seth, from Packmoor.

Her daughter Lily Ann, aged three, was diagnosed during pregnancy.

Rachel, from May Bank, has decided to fund-raise for Kidney Research UK and Cancer Research UK.

Staff, pupils and parents at Endon High School kicked off the campaign with a 12-hour rowathon yesterday.

They were challenged to row a million metres; the estimated distance from the school to the Olympic Stadium, in Stratford, via three rivers.

Head of English Debbie Poole, who organised the event, said: "It started off as a small project with eight rowing machines. We ended up having to borrow four extra ones because so many people wanted to take part.

"The level of commitment and enthusiasm people have shown is absolutely incredible."

Rachel will also have her head shaved on May 18, and a race night will be held at the school the same day. Her hair will be sent to a company that makes wigs for children who have had cancer.

A table top sale will take place at the school on April 28 and smaller events are being staged throughout the term.

To sponsor Rachel visit www.justgiving.com/rachel-eastwoodKRUK or www.justgiving.com/rachel-eastwoodCRUK

Copyright 2014 This is Staffordshire   (Copyright Terms)
Updated 781 days ago   Article ID# 1468182

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