Weekend Post (South Africa)
Transplant patients off to world games
WHEN doctors and nurses from the renal and intensive care units at Livingstone Hospital heard that two of their patients had qualified for the World Transplant Games taking place in Spain in June they started raising money and baking to help pay the patients’ travel costs.
Intensive care unit head Dr Lizette van der Merwe handed over R3 600 to Dean Arnolds, 20, and Mpumelelo Damane, 33, yesterday to assist them with their travel costs. They each need R8 000. Both are patients at the hospital’s renal unit.
“At least we are almost halfway there,” Van der Merwe said, adding that they had raised the money through personal donations and cupcake sales.
She said it would be great if the Nelson Mandela Bay community could assist the two with the rest of their financial needs.
Susan Burri from the Eastern Cape Transplant Sports Association said they were just waiting for confirmation but it seemed Damane had broken the South African record for the 400m when he qualified for the games.
He received his kidney transplant just a year ago.
Damane, who lives in Kwanoxolo, said he believed in grabbing all the opportunities that came his way.
“I am going after the world record next,” he said.
Arnolds, who also qualified for the 400m on Thurs- day, said he was delighted.
“I am training hard to do even better when we go to Spain,” he said.
He received his kidney transplant in 2014.
Peter Moore, who suffers from severe emphysema but swam the SPAR River Mile last weekend to raise awareness for organ donations, also attended the function.
He wished the two athletes all the best.
“You are also representing your organ donors,” he said.
Three other athletes from Nelson Mandela Bay, Robyn Emslie, Burri and Heilie Uys, will also take part in the transplant games.
Burri said the games would start on June 25 in Malaga, Spain.
“It is a celebration of the human spirit that gives individuals, most with previously life-threatening ailments, the opportunity to compete in a high-level sports event and show that not only are they able to lead normal, fulfilling lives, but also push the boundaries of their physical endurance,” she said.
Burri said they had also provided the two men with a coach, Johan van Greunen, and both were training hard.
“I am training hard to do even better when we go to Spain”