This Hartlepool man has kidney failure - but he's battling on by organising a huge DJ festival for charity
A Hartlepool man – who wasn’t expected to live beyond 25 – is facing his latest battle at 40 years old.
Richard Griffiths has been diagnosed with kidney failure and may need a transplant.
But he refuses to give in to the health issues which have plagued him for decades.
Instead he is fighting back by organising a huge DJ festival for charity.
“I am kind of laughing it off and picking myself up,” he said. “I just thought ‘I need to do something positive. I need to help other people’.”
Richard is planning Retrofest at the Mayfair Centre at Seaton Carew on Saturday, October 9, this year.
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.
He also ran the Greatham Post Office but he had to give that up too, all for health reasons, he told the Mail.
At the moment, Richard 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.
Richard also has bronchiectasis, which is a chronic lung condition and is thought to have been caused by either pneumonia or Covid-19.
He also has to see a kidney specialist amid fears that dialysis will have to start soon, and a transplant will be needed in the future.
But he is maintaining a positive outlook on life and said: “I have gone back to DJ-ing which is something I did years ago.
"I have to keep my mind occupied and give something back to the community. I stepped away from Miles for Men in the interests of both of us but I always wanted to do something for them.”
Retrofest would include DJ performances on a main stage at the Mayfair as well as other DJs entertaining in the reception area.
There will be club classics from the 1990s to the 2000s.
"It will be the Tall Trees days and the Ibiza of old,” said Richard who is being helped with the organisation by fellow DJ Megan Lynch.
Further details on Retrofest, including tickets, will be revealed soon and those wanting to keep up to date should visit https://www.facebook.com/retrofest21.
In the meantime, Richard is continuing to fight for health.
He has had Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome, a rare blood disorder which he was told would limit his life to 25 years.
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.
Between 2010 and 2013, he endured eight viruses, chest infections, shingles, bird flu and spent the majority of time in hospital.
Richard was so ill, his weight dropped from 10st to 6st.
Today he told the Hartlepool Mail: “I try to live my life to the fullest and enjoy it as much as I can.”