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I gave brother my kidney... Now he's living his Olympic hurdles dream; Donor sister's pride after world athletics final.

Byline: JEREMY ARMSTRONG

THE sister of hurdler Aries Merritt told how she helped him carry on competing at the top level by donating a kidney after he was struck down by disease.

LaToya Hubbard stepped in when the 32-year-old fell seriously ill and needed life-saving dialysis.

And she yesterday spoke of her pride after her battling brother made the 110 metre final at the World Athletics Championships in London this week, coming in fifth. He is hoping to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

LaToya also urged others to become organ donors and give the gift of life to sufferers such as Aries.

The 39-year-old said: "I would say to people, please donate.

"You will have a lifetime of seeing someone benefit."

US star Aries, who won gold at the London 2012 Olympics, fell ill a year later with a rare kidney disease known as collapsing focal segmental glomerulosclerosis. He needed dialysis for six hours a day, five days a week - but still went out and trained later. LaToya offered one of her organs as his condition worsened, but she fell pregnant and the operation had to be put off.

Fortunately, he improved and she donated her kidney in 2015 after giving birth to daughter, Lela, now three. Speaking of his World Championship battle, LaToya said: "I would love to have seen him win a medal. But he has been through so much just to get here.

"He was in hospital for five or six hours at a time for his treatment. Then he went out and trained.

"Now he is aiming to go to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 but we are taking everything day by day."

Her brother said of being back: "There are a lot of new people and new talent. I'm just happy to be part of it." LaToya is with Aries and mum Linda Hubbard in London, where she met Usain Bolt at the Jamaican's final competition.

The Mirror's Change the Law for Life campaign is pushing for an opt-out organ donor system. | Please sign our petition at mirror.co.uk/donor or visit organdonation.nhs.uk.

jeremy.armstrong@mirror.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

MY SAVIOUR with LaToya and Bolt

IN ACTION Aries during London race this week

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 9, 2017
Words:374
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