Page 24 - Support Magazine Winter 2017
P. 24

“Being part of TRANSPLANT TEAM IRELAND





                     allowed me to CHALLENGEmyself...”




                                         I met up with members of Transplant
                                       Team Ireland for the first time in the
                                       ALSAA Sports complex in Dublin where I
                                       was immediately made feel welcome.
                                       Transplant Team Ireland is not just a
                                       team but a family who share the same
                                       goals. Before meeting Colin White
                                       (Team Manager) I played golf and after
                                       the meeting I decided to challenge   11 seconds off my PB, I was delighted with
                                       myself by signing up to compete in the  my time and a 7th place finish.
                                       5km road race, and the 1500m, 800m     I feel that anyone who completes a 5km
                                       and 100m relay on the track as well as  after having an organ transplant is
                                       the golf.                            amazing - a winner by just being there and
                                         Being part of Transplant Team Ireland  being able to take part to the best of their
                     By                has also allowed me to travel the world  ability. During the rest of the Games I
             KIERAN MURRAY             meeting people with similar          competed in two golf competitions
                                       circumstances from other countries,  winning bronze in the singles and even
               y name is Kieran Murray.  making lifelong friends along the way. I  though I didn’t win anything in the
               I have had two kidney   have travelled to Poland, Argentina,  doubles competition I enjoyed the
                                       Finland and Spain (2 European and 2  experience and met some great people.
        Mtransplants, the first in
                                       World Games). The Games experience is  Friday and Saturday saw me compete in
        2000 and my most recent in
                                       more than just one week a year, it is  my final events, the 1500m, 800m and the
        2013. I first got involved in  also about life-long friendships     400m relay races. I really love these events
        transplant sports in January   spanning the globe.                  as they are all on the track and the
        2014.                                                               atmosphere is just electric.
           A college friend told me all  MOST RECENT GAMES
        about the Transplant Games and   My most recent Games was the       FAVOURITE PART OF THE GAMES
        the different sports that are on  World Transplant Games in Malaga this  My favourite part of the Games is
        offer (running, darts, bowling,  year. Everyone in our team of 27   meeting with friends, old and new, and
        golf, swimming, petanque and   athletes mixed very well and supported  seeing so many inspirational people
        more). Having a great interest in  each other throughout every event.    compete in sport they love that is only
        sport and realising that my      My first event was the 5km Road    made possible by the generosity of their
        involvement in the Games       Race in which I competed against old  donors. Even though Malaga had long
        would give me a good           friends that I had competed with     days which went from 7am to 10pm it was
        opportunity to create awareness  before, along with new competitors  the most enjoyable week in the year for
        of the benefits of organ       that had moved into my age category  me and I am already looking forward to
        donation, he had my attention.  from two years previously. Finishing only  going to Sardinia in 2018 for the European
                                                                            Championships. I love running and every
                                                                            day I train I thank my donor for giving me
                                                                            the opportunity to be able to run and to
                                                                            enjoy my new lease of life.
                                                                              My advice to anyone considering joining
                                                                            Transplant Team Ireland is to just do it. It is
                                                                            the best thing I have ever done. I have
                                                                            seen my health go from strength to
                                                                            strength, so much so that I feel that even
                                                                            after having two kidney transplants I am
                                                                            the fittest and healthiest that I have ever
                                                                            been in my life. I have met the most
                                                                            wonderful and inspirational people.
                                                                              Joining Transplant Team Ireland has
                                                                            given me a reason to exercise with a goal
                                                                            to aim for at the end of it. I feel now that I
                                                                            have joined a second family and am so
                     James Nolan, Michelle Reinhardt McCabe, Kieran Murray, Tony Gartland  proud to be part of it.

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