Karate expert 's cancer battle

A KARATE expert is still kicking today after he discovered he had a tumour on his one and only kidney.Joe Walsh was shocked when doctors told him he had lived all his life with just one kidney and that it had a cancerous lump on it.

A KARATE expert is still kicking today after he discovered he had a tumour on his one and only kidney.

Joe Walsh was shocked when doctors told him he had lived all his life with just one kidney and that it had a cancerous lump on it.

But the 57-year-old conquered the life-threatening disease, and despite all the drama he still managed to achieve his fourth dan black belt.

He said: “The martial arts training helped me beat the illness.

“It is about bringing mind, body and spirit together, and I needed that to get through it. I wouldn't have survived without it.

“I never really thought about giving up and once I knew I was going to survive I realised I wanted to go back and complete the fourth dan I had been training for beforehand.”

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Mr Walsh, of Coopers Road, Martlesham Heath, was not able to have a kidney transplant because of the cancerous cells in his body, and now functions without a kidney.

He receives dialysis at Ipswich Hospital for five hours, three times a week, has to stick to a special diet and can only drink half a litre of fluid a day.

But he still teaches karate twice a week and has no intention of giving up any time soon.

Now Mr Walsh said he hoped others would be inspired not to let go of their dreams when they had a health scare.

He added: “I received top notch care, I'm lucky to still be here let alone able to have achieved my fourth dan.

“I'm especially grateful to the urology department as well as the surgeons and renal unit staff.

“I want other patients in a similar situation to me to think that even though they may be having a tough time there's no need to give up on any aspirations they may have.”

Have you achieved something special despite illness? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Kidneys

Most people have two kidneys, which are organs shaped like kidney beans, each one about 10-15cms long, located either side of the spine, deep in the abdomen.

However, it is possible to live a healthy and active life with only one functioning kidney. In rare instances people can be born with three kidneys.

Their main job is to cleanse the blood of toxins and transform waste into urine.

Each kidney weighs about 160 grams and gets rid of between one and one-and-a-half litres of urine per day. The two kidneys together filter 200 litres of fluid every 24 hours.

SOURCE: Kidney Research UK

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