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Duo prepare for charity river row

By Lucy Todman | Shrewsbury | News | Published:

Two men from Shrewsbury are hoping that Saturday (18) will be a perfect day for splashing around on the river when they take to the waters in a charity kayak trip.

Kevin Westwood and Paul Gough will be setting off from Pool Quay at 6am intent on reaching Shrewsbury.

But this is no easy feat for the two 56 year olds. For they are new to kayaking and the 34-mile journey is a daunting prospect.

Kevin has a personal reason for completing the trip - just 15 months ago he underwent a lifesaving liver transplant.

And in recognition of this he and friend Paul are raising money for the British Liver Trust, PSC Support and Donor Families Network.

The pair hope to raise £10,000 to provide vital funds for the charities which gave so much to Kevin.

Kevin was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosis Cholangitis in May 2017 after months of feeling unwell.

After being put on the transplant list Kevin was the recipient of a donor organ and said: "After my experiences I want to raise awareness of PSC and encourage people to talk to each other about organ donation, along with raising funds for four charities to show my support for what they do.

"This is where it gets difficult, you see, for everyone who has helped, guided, supported and just been there for me, I feel I should be able to explain why they are important but I can’t.

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"If I was Shakespeare I still don’t think I could find the words, if I was an artist I couldn’t paint a picture that portrays the way I feel for each one, I wish I could explain what they mean to me, but the only way I can do it is to give something back and to do that I have to push myself to the very limit of my capabilities.

"Only when I feel that I’ve given them everything I have to give; every rotation of that paddle as a thank you."

Paul added: "I am doing it to support Kev in raising awareness of liver diseases/organ transplants and the delicate subject of organ donors. The challenge is a big challenge to us as neither of us is a spring chicken but we are still young in the mind we just wish our bodies agreed with our minds."

On reaching Shrewsbury Kevin and Paul will be guests of honour at a family fun day being held at The Crown in Coleham, Shrewsbury. The day starts at 11am and there will be stalls, children's entertainment, food and beer.

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman
@shroptod

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.

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