“One of the greatest feelings is accomplishing something you once thought would have been impossible!”
The past two years I have experienced this feeling. As a two-year post-transplant athlete it will be my first World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain this year. It has been an event I have been working towards mentally since I first read about the Games in the Transplant News while still on hemodialysis. The thought of competing with organ recipients from across the world who have all walked a similar journey, ignites a sense of hope as I will be representing my country in transplant sports to promote organ donation.
It was a goal that gave me the hope and motivation while on the transplant waiting list. In May 2015, I received a phone call notifying me that I would be blessed with a new kidney. After the recovery phase, I could not wait to use the new strength in my body as I felt so privileged to be able to live without restriction and to partake in a sport that I love: cycling.
Cycling usually requires hours of commitment but the time spent in the saddle seems irrelevant to me as I feel the freedom life offers an organ transplant recipient every time I turn my pedals. The 2016 National Transplant Games offered me an opportunity to celebrate this precious life we have been given, as well as a chance to achieve my personal goal.
My goal was to qualify to represent South Africa at the World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain in 2017. With complete humility and thankfulness, I am now able to work towards Spain this year as I completed the 20km Time Trial within the required time, setting a new world record.
Since qualifying for the National Team I have received full South African colours and I will be leaving for Spain with fifty-two other South African athletes, joining another 2300 organ recipients in Malaga to celebrate life.
As transplant athletes, we aim to encourage patients waiting for their gift of life, as well as organ recipients to leada healthy lifestyle through physical activity. I am thankful for my health and that I am able to lead this lifestyle of a transplant athlete. I honour my donor daily, and I give all the glory to God – my healer and provider.
I personally aim to inspire others to lead a healthy lifestyle and to showcase the positives of organ donation. It is a privilege to be associated with world class brands who share a passion for physical activity and aim to inspire people to partake in activities through their extraordinary quality.