Alder Hey patient returns triumphant from the World Transplant Winter Games
An inspiring local 17-year-old Alder Hey patient who has overcome leukaemia through a successful bone marrow transplant has returned triumphant from the World Transplant Winter Games, in Anzere, Switzerland, competing as a member of Team Great Britain.
Cameron McGregor-Ogden from Hartford, Cheshire, has won four gold medals in ski racing events three years after having a life-saving bone marrow transplant. During the closing ceremony Cameron also received the Outstanding Athlete of the Games Award, which was awarded for a combination of sporting success and sportsmanship.
“It has been a great honour to compete in this international event as part of Team GB. While the games are about sporting endeavour, they are more importantly a celebration of life and an opportunity to express our thanks to our donors and donor families.”
Team GB who have all had either heart, lungs, kidney, pancreas, bone marrow or liver transplants, competed in a variety of alpine sports and curling. The Winter Transplant Games provides a wonderful opportunity for transplant athletes to enjoy their new lease of life and demonstrate the benefits of organ donation.
Lynne Holt, Team Manager at Transplant Sport 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. Every member of Team GB has already had to ‘climb a mountain’ to get through the transplant, and with their courage and determination, have enjoyed the thrills of being in the mountains in Switzerland. Hopefully this international event will encourage others to sign on to the Organ Donor Register, but most importantly, discuss their final wishes now with their families”
Cameron’s mum Sue said: “In 2014 we really didn’t know whether Cameron would survive or not, so seeing him compete successfully in these really physically challenging events is fantastic, and when he received the Outstanding Athlete award I definitely had a proud tear or two in my eyes. We really hope that Cameron’s and Team GB’s success at these games will raise awareness about the benefits of organ and bone marrow donation, and encourage people to talk with their families about their wishes.”
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 32 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 the donor register to share their wishes with loved ones, who ultimately give, or in 40% of potential donor families, do not give, consent.
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/