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Addenbrooke's success at Transplant Games

23 July 2015
Addenbrooke's success at Transplant Games

Nearly 80 inspirational athletes whose lives have been saved by organ donations won more than 60 medals at the British Transplant Games.

Sixty former transplant patients put their hearts and lungs to the test for Addenbrooke’s while 20 flew the flag for Papworth at the games held in Newcastle and Gateshead earlier this month.

Competing internationally in events ranging from track and field and swimming to darts, golf and archery, Team Addenbrooke’s managed to scoop 68 medals between them.

Nina Herbert, Addenbrooke’s team manager said: “We must never lose sight of the main aim of the games – to publicise the need for more donors and above all to get people to discuss their wishes about donation with family and friends.

“We are the lucky ones and the more awareness we can generate the more we honour our donors and help all those still awaiting The Gift of Life.”

Overall, Addenbrooke’s came away with a haul of 41 gold, 15 silver and 12 bronze medals.

Sarah Moody and John Tibutt were also recognised as the best adult female athlete and adult male athlete respectively.

The games ended with a gala award ceremony, during which Papworth won the Tesco Cup for the Best Heart and Lung Team.

Maggie Gambrill, team manager, said “I am very proud to be team manager of an amazing group of heart and lung transplant recipients who have a great team spirit.

“To win the Tesco Cup was a fantastic team effort and I personally had the added bonus of being awarded the ‘best super vet female’ award for the second year running.”

The British Transplant Games was first launched in 1978 and have been held in a different city every year since.

The goal is to prove that patients can lead a normal and active life post-transplantation, while encouraging people to sign up to the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow and NHS Organ Donor registers.

Graham Wylie, chairman of this year’s committee, said: “The Newcastle Gateshead Games were officially the biggest ever with more than 850 athletes taking part and around 2,500 supporters coming out to cheer the teams on.

“The atmosphere across the four days was electric, and I’d like to congratulate everyone involved and especially those taking part, on a truly fabulous event.

“Among the highlights was the opening ceremony, which embodied the spirit of The Games and reminded us what they are all about – a celebration of the transformative effects of transplantation and a way of honouring those who have given the ultimate gift of life.

He added: “On average 30 people from our region die every year because they can’t get the organ they need, so I would urge everyone to sign the organ donor register and share their wishes with their family and loved-ones.”

To find out how you can help, visit organdonation.nhs.uk or anthonynolan.org.