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Dad bowled over by Liam's offer.

Byline: Michelle Ruane

But he rejects gift of kidney from son

ENGLAND cricket hero Liam Plunkett's dad has told how he turned down his son's selfless offer of one of his kidneys.

Liam's dad Alan, 49, of Marton, Middlesbrough, suffers from the hereditary condition polycystic kidney disease.

And after hearing that his dad would need a transplant, 21-year-old fast bowler Liam offered Alan one of his kidneys.

But his dad, worried it would affect his son's cricketing career, made his own selfless decision to turn down the offer.

Alan was recently told he would need to go on renal dialysis or have a transplant.

"He immediately offered, telling me 'You can have one of mine', but I said 'Thanks, but no thanks'," said Alan.

"It was an amazing thing to do, but I'd be worried it would affect his cricket career.

"Instead I am awaiting dialysis until a new kidney becomes available."

Depending on test results, Alan could start dialysis in the summer. It would be three times a week for five hours.

Patients can wait on average two years for a kidney to become available, but it could take several more.

Alan, a former chemical technician at ICI, added: "Liam has kept me going. My heart feels like it will burst."

He said the only person in the family who could give a kidney is Liam, as both Alan's brothers and sister have the same condition, while daughter Natalie, 23, has also tested positive for the disease.

Liam's mum Marie, 47, has battled two forms of cancer - non-Hodgkins lymphoma and a melanoma.

Durham star Liam flew to the Caribbean on Friday as part of England's World Cup squad.

Alan added: "I would love to be able to see him play in person but because I am waiting for the dialysis, I won't be able to do any travelling."

But he fully intends to be following all the action on television at home.

Polycystic kidney disease causes large fluid-filled cysts to develop on both kidneys which can cause them to fail.

Alan has had the condition since in his early 20s.

People who donate a kidney usually suffer no ill effects but are advised to protect their remaining kidney by, for example, avoiding rough contact sports.

Durham county cricketer Liam credits his dad with much of his cricketing success, pointing to his dad's involvement playing for Marske in the North Yorkshire South Durham League.

He said: "Everything I am as a cricketer is down to my dad.
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Title Annotation:News Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Mar 5, 2007
Words:417
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