Trustee, Chris, is first baton bearer at the Queen’s Baton Relay

Give a Kidney Trustee, Chris has the honour of being the first Batonbearer at the Queen’s Baton Relay on Friday (22 Jul). Birmingham is staging the 16th official Queen’s Baton Relay – an epic journey across the Commonwealth, with The Queen’s Baton visiting all 72 nations and territories.

Chris is running in Kenilworth and says: “The first leg seems to be all uphill so maybe it’s more of a fitness challenge!”

He add that it was “extraordinary” to find out that he would be a Batonbearer.

“I remember smiling so much when I got the email saying I’d been nominated but to actually be selected is just great. I’m a huge sports fan and to play even a small part in the games is such an honour. I really believe in the power of sport in bringing communities together and this is so much of what the Commonwealth is about. I’m very excited but terrified that I’ll drop the baton!”

In 2021, Chris donated one of his kidneys to his friend Steph who has Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) and needed a transplant to live.

He says: “Before I had a friend in need, I had no idea really what kidneys did, that millions of us have two but only need one of them to live a happy and healthy life, or that living donation was even a possibility. I learned so much but most importantly that the NHS will never remove a kidney from someone unless doctors are satisfied that the short and long-term risk to the donor are acceptably low (trust me, there are a lot of tests!).

“Fortunately, Steph and I were compatible and so in March 2021 surgeons transplanted my left kidney into Steph and we’re both living happy and healthy lives. Steph’s a mum and it’s just so lovely seeing her little girl knowing she’s got both parents around.

“My mate Andy nominated me – a fellow sports fanatic who I think knows just how much this means to me. He’ll be there cheering me on on the day and I’m hoping I do him and Steph proud.”

I’m running at 8am in Kenilworth on Friday 22nd July. It’s the first leg of the day – route and details here: