The Hartlepool man who has been told he needs a kidney transplant - but he's still planning a huge charity event

A Hartlepool man has vowed to continue with plans for a huge DJ festival in aid of charity – despite the news that he needs a kidney transplant.

Thursday, 19th August 2021, 4:45 am

Undaunted Richard Griffiths told of the latest twist to his long-running health battle.

He is dealing with the news by continuing his campaign to bring the charity event Retrofest to town.

The 40-year-old has regularly made the Hartlepool Mail headlines for his battling spirit against the odds which has stretched over decades.

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DJ Richard Griffiths in his Hartlepool home. Picture by FRANK REID

We told how he was diagnosed with Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome, a rare blood disorder which he was told would limit his life to 25 years. He defied the odds to reach 40.

Although he fought back from that, Richard has now been receiving treatment at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle for kidney failure.

Doctors have told him that his kidneys are now only functioning at around 17 per cent of their capacity.

"They have decided that a transplant is the way to go forward and hopefully that can happen before I would need to go on dialysis,” he said.

Hartlepool man Richard Griffiths.

"Once you start dialysis, it has a detrimental effect on having a transplant.”

Ten DJs would provide 13 hours of entertainment, subject to pandemic restrictions being lifted by then.

A 500-strong audience could be at the event with all profits going to town charity Miles for Men, where Richard used to be the chairman.

Richard Griffiths who is planning the Hartlepool charity event Retrofest.

He admitted his latest health news was "a bit of a thorn in the side”, adding: “Every time I plan to get something done, I end up getting ill.”

As well as being diagnosed with Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome, he had further problems in August 2010 when he was diagnosed with cancer of the lymph glands.

After seven days of intensive chemotherapy to completely remove his own marrow, he was left with no immune system.

Later, he got two bags of bone marrow stem cells from the donor.

Richard Griffiths in 2012 as he got ready to run the Miles For Men 5k race.

Between 2010 and 2013, he endured eight viruses, chest infections, shingles, bird flu and spent the majority of time in hospital.

Now, he faces twice-a-week trips to the Freeman Hospital, in Newcastle, where experts take 1.5 litres of blood each time, separate the red and white cells, treat the red cells with ultra violet to stimulate them, and give the revitalised blood back to Richard.

He told the Hartlepool Mail: “I always knew my kidney function was coming down but a year ago it made a big drop. I knew it was going to happen but not as quick as this.

"But Retrofest gives me something to focus on. It is a bit of a legacy to leave.”

His hope is that the event will become an annual attraction in the Hartlepool calendar.

This year’s Retrofest is planned from 11am to 1am on Saturday, October 9, and the line-up of DJs includes Selector C, DJ Phaze, Ryan Miles,DJ N.R.G, Jon Whyte, Ainsley Fawcett and Liam Dunning.

Richard Griffiths who has vowed to continue planning a huge charity event in Hartlepool despite needing a kidney transplant.

Also on the bill is Richie G, Ged Bramwell, DJ Pl3ws, Andy Dougall, DJ Hype, Emma Vibes, Alyberry and DJ Cal with Steve Bone as a special guest.

Richard added: “More than 100 tickets have sold so far.”

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DJ Richard Griffiths.