Fleetwood dad running London Marathon for kidney charity after son's operation
A caring dad whose young son underwent a kidney transplant this year is running the London Marathon at the weekend to help other youngsters in a similar position.
Michael Belk, 35, of Teviot Avenue in Fleetwood, is raising money for non-profit organisation Kidneys for Life, which is based at the renal kidney unit at Manchester Royal Infirmary, where seven year old Edward had his operation in March.
Fortunately in Edward's case, his mum Helen Clapp was a perfect match and was able to donate one of her kidneys for the operation.
Michael, who works all over the world as a crane operator on pipe-laying vessels, and 34 year old Helen, a medical secretary at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, have two other children, Harriet, aged nine, and two year old Arthur.
Although Edward was born with kidney complications, the organs were finally starting to fail and earlier this year a transplant became essential.
Michael said: "You only need one functioning kidney so we decided to go for the transplant.
"We agreed we didn't want him to be relying on a dialysis machine.
"When it was time for the operation it was a very worrying time and I feel for other families in the same position - especially when there is no donor in the family.
"We were lucky in that respect but it was still a huge worry.
"Helen and Edward both went in for the operation at the same time and I was really nervous, not being able to see them and worrying if they were alright.
"But the unit does a brilliant job and I just wanted to help them."
Sportsman Michael enjoys playing football but he has never run a marathon before and he has been training hard over the last few months.
He said: "Edward has been back in hospital a couple of times with infections and although he's OK now, it did take me out of training for a bit.
"But I think I'm well prepared for marathon now - hopefully!"
Kidneys for Life supports renal patients throughout the North West.
Michael has set a target of £2,000 and has so far raised £1,342.
To sponsor him visit his funding page at: