British Transplant Games officially launched
The countdown to the Westfield Health British Transplant
Games Medway 2012 has begun.
The official launch event for next year's Games was held at
Rochester Cathedral on Wednesday, 2 November.
Transplant recipient athletes and donor families told
their moving and inspiring stories to an invited audience of
sponsors, media, businesses and community representatives.
The launch also saw the lighting of the official Games flame,
signifying the handing over of the Games to Medway.
The British Transplant Games are one of the largest annual
multi-sports events in the United Kingdom, organised on behalf of
Transplant Sport UK (TSUK). They will be staged in Medway in 2012
from 23-26 August, between the Olympic and Paralympic
Donor family representative Eunice Brooke shared the moving
story of how her daughter Kirsty's organs were donated after she
died in a car crash. Her lungs, kidney, liver and heart valves have
gone on to save the lives of four adults, a three-year-old boy and
a six-week-old baby. Kirsty, from Strood, was the first
ever successful non-beating heart donor in the south-east.
Young George Penhaligan and his mum Jo then spoke of
George's health struggles, including contracting emphysema and
later finding out he needed a kidney transplant. He spent a
year on dialysis at the Evelina Hospital before finally
receiving a successful kidney transplant from his dad.
Jo told the launch: "At the Transplant Games you get
to see all of the children go from being ill to
standing on the start line of a race being so
Transplant recipients and members of the local Medway Games sub
group, James Baxter, Paul German and Nicky Clifford, also told
their stories of receiving transplants and going on to enjoy
success in the British and World Transplant Games.
The launch event was hosted by Edwin Boorman, president of the
Kent Messenger Group and chairman of the local organising
committee, alongside TSUK trustee Lynne Holt.
It featured a spectacular trampoline performance by
members of the Gillingham Jumpers club.
Medway Council assistant director Richard Hicks also addressed
the audience. He said: "2012 is going to be a fantastic year for
Medway in our year of celebration. The message of the Games has
already touched us all and we are delighted to be able to
staging this event, which embraces the very essence of
With more than 600 recipients of a life-saving organ
transplants taking part, and 1,500 supporters, the Games will
deliver in excess of £2.5m economic boost to what could be
the UK’s newest city. The publicity surrounding the Transplant
Games not only demonstrates the benefits of successful organ
transplantation, but highlights the desperate need for
more people to sign on to the NHS Organ Donor Register.
information visit the British Transplant Games page.
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