Alicia Read (38) did not run the Om die Dam ultramarathon last week because she liked it… she tackled her first ultra to raise awareness and ultimately find a kidney for her husband, Guy.
Alicia has been working tirelessly since 2020 to find a kidney for her husband and raise awareness of organ donations after he went into kidney failure. She ran Om die Dam to raise funds for the Organ Donation Foundation.
“Guy urgently needs a kidney transplant. After he was diagnosed with kidney failure, he went onto dialysis immediately while we are searching for a match. No match has yet been found an I started raising funds for the Organ Donation Foundation in the hopes of finding a kidney match for him.”
Tackling Om die Dam was no easy task. “I was thinking about ways to raise awareness in the hope of finding a kidney and thought why not run marathons. I only started running at the beginning of the year. I ran around the neighbourhood, did park runs and then decided to enter a half marathon and then a marathon. I am no athlete, I’m more built for comfort than speed,” she laughs.
And then I decided to enter Om die Dam, my first ultramarathon!
“It was tough, but not as hard as I thought it would be. I had a bit of a wobble at the end when I crossed the finish line when my blood pressure and blood sugar levels dropped, but I am fine again.”
Alicia will not stop with her awareness endeavours until her husband gets a kidney. “I am trying to raise awareness about living donations. We have not been able to find a match for Guy for two years and maybe by raising awareness, someone may realise he or she can help.”
So what is next? “Well, I have done the running thing, maybe Kilimanjaro…” she laughs.
Visit odf.org.za for more information about organ donations, and to contribute visit https://www.payfast.co.za/donate/go/ODF-Fundraising.