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What the Games

        mean to me…

                                        n 2004 I participated in my first sports
                                        event organised by the Irish kidney
                                        Association (IKA). I will never forget
                                    Ithe day – the rain was horizontal! I am
                                    not a very sporty person but I wanted to
                                    meet other people on dialysis and
                                    transplant recipients also and I hoped to
                                    become part of a community. I was
                                    delighted to have been met with warm
                                       Rolling on a few years, I had the    of us on dialysis on the team this year and
                                    opportunity to travel to Germany in 2008  I hope that our example will show others
                                    to compete in the 5th European Transplant  what can be achieved even when you are
                                    & Dialysis Games. By this time I was seven  on dialysis. It is not only about the
            CHIKOYO WHITE
                                    years on dialysis and I already counted  competition, it is about travelling, meeting
                                    many of the people on the Irish team as  new people and being part of something
                                    my friends. The Games were something to  special.
                                    look forward to and during the week we     I really enjoyed our time in Finland and I
                                    were in Germany, I really enjoyed the   managed to pick up some medals too – a
                                    friendship and sense of fun in the team  big ‘thank you’ to my dialysis partner Linda
                                    and with all the competitors and        Waters. We teamed up to win a bronze
                                    supporters from across Europe. Much to  medal in doubles petanque! The food in
                                    my surprise I came home with two        Finland was ‘interesting’ but the Irish team
                                    medals!                                 is always good at coming up with plans to
                                       I also took part in the European Games  cope so we ate well throughout the week.
                                    in Dublin in 2010 and I was delighted to   The dialysis facilities were excellent and
                                    travel to Poland for the 2014           the staff were really friendly. I am on home
                                    Championships in Krakow. At both events  haemodialysis normally but I was able to
                                    my friendship circle grew and it was very  attend a dialysis unit and they let me
                                    motivating to meet other people on      needle myself so all was good.
                                    dialysis and hear about all they were      Every single person on the team helped
                                    managing to achieve in their lives.     make my experience in Finland a
                                       When we were leaving Krakow in 2014  wonderful one and for that I am truly
                                    I was already looking forward to travelling  grateful. I hope that I added something to
                                    to Finland in 2016. It was a great      the team also!
                                                           motivator to        I strongly recommend the European
                                                           keep involved    Transplant & Dialysis Sports Championships
                                                           with Transplant  to anyone on dialysis, and transplant
                                                           Team Ireland     recipients too. I would also encourage you
                                                           and to look      to travel with a supporter or two (family or
                                                           after myself     friends) so that you can share the
                                                           because I        experience and when you get home you
                                                           wanted to be fit  can also share the memories. I am
                                                           enough to take   fortunate that I get to share the experience
                                                           on the trip.     with my husband every time – though as
                                                              I was         Team Manager he is usually busy but it
                                                           delighted that   adds something special to the experience
                                                           there were six   to be able to share it with a loved one!

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