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Inverness toddler Ruby's rare kidney defect spurs dad's London Marathon challenge

By Neil MacPhail

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Scott Sturrock and daughter Ruby.
Scott Sturrock and daughter Ruby.

An Inverness dad who only took up running nine months ago is taking on the TCS London Marathon in April to raise money for Kidney Care UK.

It is a charity that is particularly close to Scott Sturrock's heart and that of his wife Suzanne after their daughter Ruby (2) was diagnosed with a rare condition that prevented one of her kidneys from working properly.

Remarkably, the rare defect was discovered when Ruby was still in her mother's womb.

A routine prenatal scan revealed what is called a ureterocele – a swelling at the bottom of one of her ureters, the tubes that take urine from the kidneys to the bladder.

The scan showing the problem was done six months into the pregnancy of Suzanne, who works for Barchester Health Care, and was confirmed once Ruby was born.

Scott (31), who helps deliver Tennent's Lager throughout the Highlands, said: "The scan gave the medical people an early warning that something was wrong with one of the kidneys, as it looked quite small.

"So we knew there was an issue but only discovered the extent of it after Ruby was born.

"This meant that at only six weeks old Ruby had to undergo keyhole surgery under general anaesthetic in hospital in Aberdeen to clear the blockage that was affecting the functionality of her 'bad' kidney.

"The operation was partially successful but she will most likely never have two fully functional kidneys.

"Thankfully this condition hasn’t affected Ruby's day-to-day life other than the annual check-ups.

"We were made aware of Ruby's issue during pregnancy growth scans so we were prepared for it, as much as you ever can be. However not everyone is as lucky as us and face daily struggles with kidney disease."

Scott is also running in memory of his late grandad Brian, who died aged 57 and was on dialysis towards the end of his life.

He added: "I am challenging myself massively by running the marathon not only for Ruby and my grandad but also every person and family member that has ever been affected by kidney disease.

"I am basically going from couch to 42k in nine months, but as a result I have managed to drop 2.5 stones from my 17-stone pre-running weight. Running is also good for the mind so I hope to continue pounding the roads after the marathon.

"I have never been that active, but I hope to raise as much money as possible for Kidney Care UK to help them continue the amazing work that they do in helping families like mine.

"With the help of my uncle Michael Smart, who is a runner, I gradually built up my mileage and I am now doing weekly mileages of 20-30 miles that has included a 15-mile run.

"I am also following the TCS London Marathon's official training programme and this will build up to 40 miles per week in March and include a 22-mile run before the event on April 21."

Scott wants to raise £2500 and he has already reached about half this amount. Anyone who wants to chip in can do so here.

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