For the first time ever, a team of stem cell transplant recipients representing Anthony Nolan are going to compete in the British Transplant Games in NewcastleGateshead, which start tomorrow.
The British Transplant Games, July 30th – 2nd August, which have been running since 1973, is a series of Olympic style events which sees all kinds of transplant recipients compete in the sporting events, including those who have had bone marrow and organ transplants.
Many of the inspirational competitors were facing their last chance of survival, before lifesaving transplants of hearts, lungs, kidneys, livers or bone marrow gave them a second chance.
Local actor Andrew Hayden-Smith, whose dad, Wayne, 67, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia and had a lifesaving transplant on Christmas eve 2014, is backing ‘Team Anthony Nolan’ at the games.
“I just want to say a massive good luck to everyone in Team Anthony Nolan and all the competitors coming to NewcastleGateshead for the games. I’m forever in debt to Anthony Nolan for finding my dad’s lifesaving donor. It’s great to see these inspiring patients raising awareness of the charity’s amazing work.”
William Laughton, 28, who received a bone marrow transplant from his brother in 2012, is going to be competing in the cycling. Will said: “It’s great to be part of Team Anthony Nolan, raising the profile of bone marrow transplants is awesome. It’s surreal as without transplants everyone competing just wouldn’t be there!
William in his Team Anthony Nolan cycling jersey
“It’s nice chatting to people who have had similar experiences to you and are all doing well. Being round others that have gone through the same as you is great as you can swap stories, advice and on top of that just have fun.”
Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, said: “We are very proud to partner with the British Transplant Games 2015. Supporting this event is part of our ongoing commitment to supporting patients and their families through their transplant journey, from finding lifesaving donors to helping people live their lives to the full afterwards. The games will be a chance to celebrate life after transplant and the second chance that their donor has given them.
“At Anthony Nolan, we are dedicated to listening to our supporters, and the feedback from the inspirational competitors at previous games told us this was an exciting event and something to get involved in.”
To find out more about the British Transplant Games visit www.britishtransplantgames.co.uk