Team Great Britain travel to Banff, Canada to compete at the Winter World Transplant Games, Feb 23-28, 2020.
Mark Brown from Grange Avenue Ruddington, will be taking part in this year’s Winter World Transplant Games, 25 years after having a life-saving kidney transplant. The 52-year-old will compete as a member of Team Great Britain in the downhill & curling events.
Team GB who have all had either heart, lungs, kidney, pancreas, bone marrow or liver transplants, will be competing in a variety of sports, which include, slalom, parallel slalom, giant, super giant, snowboard, snowshoe events and curling. Teams from around the world will be competing, including Ethiopia for the first time! This is the largest GB team with 25 competitors. 6 of these are live donors who are competing in the donor ski race. There are also 3 transplant children attending the Nicholas Green” Camp at the same time.
The Winter Transplant Games provides a wonderful opportunity for transplant athletes to enjoy their new lease of life and to demonstrate the benefits of organ donation. Team GB, managed by Transplant Sport (TSUK), the charity responsible for the British Transplant Games, range in age from 17-year-old George, a kidney transplant recipient, to Sue, a heart transplant recipient, who is 67 years young.
Mark said, “This is the 8th Winter Games I will have competed in, previously winning medals in the giant slalom and snowboarding events. My greatest success has been at the curling rink. Whilst I’ve never curled other than when representing my country, I’ve managed to win 4 gold medals! Hopefully I’ll be able to retain the gold medal position but expect strong competition from America and the host country.”
Lynne Holt, Team Manager said: “Many of our transplant athletes have experienced near death situations and long illness, and it is very gratifying to see them able to enjoy a full life, thanks to organ donation. Without this ‘gift of life’, many of them would not now be alive.”
Mark continued “Whilst it’s great to win medals, the publicity from this international event will hopefully encourage others to sign on to the Organ Donor Register, but most importantly, discuss their final wishes now with their families”
More than 6,000 people in the UK are currently waiting for a transplant and sadly, three people die waiting every day. But with only 34 per cent of the UK population actually registered as organ donors, more work needs to be done to raise awareness of donation and to urge those on to the donor register to share their wishes with loved ones, who ultimately give, or in 38% of potential donor families, do not give, consent.
Transplant Sport is the charity which organizes sports and social events for transplant recipients to demonstrate the benefits of organ donation and prove that you can lead a normal and active life again after transplantation. Transplant Sport host the British Transplant Games every year and participants of all ages and ability enjoy taking part in over 20 different events. For more information visit: https://transplantsport.org.uk
NHS Organ Donor Register -Transplant patients owe their lives to the generosity of others, who donate the ‘Gift of Life’. Please help to raise public awareness about transplantation and sign up on the Organ Donor register. To register, and for more information please go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk, or contact the NHS Organ Donor Line on 0300 123 23 23
To join the Anthony Nolan bone marrow donor register or for further information go to http://www.anthonynolan.org/