Thursday, July 09, 2009

British transplant survivor, 20, going to the World Transplant Games in Australia

Organ transplant recipients, many of whom have never been able to take part in athletics due to their medical problems, are inspired and motivated to show the world that they are now able to live normally and even compete in sports activities. Such is the wonderful transformation that takes place after receiving the "Gift of Life".

LIVER transplant survivor Jon Fox is hoping to be a smash hit in his quest for sporting gold at the World Transplant Games in Australia (Aug 22-30, 2009).

By Harry Hogger DorsetEcho U.K.

LIVER transplant survivor Jon Fox is hoping to be a smash hit in his quest for sporting gold Down Under.

Twenty-year-old Jon, from Dorchester, will be representing his country at the World Transplant Games in Australia both in the pool and on the badminton court.

Jon, who won a gold and two silvers at the games in Canada in 2005, will go up against competitors from 69 other countries at the tournament, which aims to promote organ donation.

Not content with taking to the pool in the 50m and 200m breaststroke and freestyle swimming, Jon – who had a life-saving liver transplant at the age of eight – will also be representing the United Kingdom at badminton.

He said: “More than anything it’s to promote organ donation, that’s the main aspect of it.

“I was born with a genetic liver disease and I was ill throughout my life until the transplant.

“I wouldn’t be here today if it hadn’t worked.”

Jon said his operation completely changed his life and he will forever be grateful to the anonymous donor whose organ he benefited from.

He said: “Before, I didn’t go out at all but afterwards my parents would hardly see me, I would go out and I had friends which was something I didn’t have before.

“Apart from once a couple of years ago I haven’t really been ill.”

Jon added: “I can’t thank my donor and their family enough.

“If anyone is thinking about carrying a donor card I would say please just do it.”

Jon has been given a helping hand with his training by West Dorset District Council with free membership of the Thomas Hardye Leisure Centre.

He said: “I am really excited about the games and trying to fit in as much training as I can.

“The staff at the leisure centre have been brilliant, it’s a great place to train.”

Jon is competing in the games to raise money for Transplant Sport UK, a charity that aims to raise organ donation awareness.

To sponsor him in his efforts, visit

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