Rothienorman teen heads to World Transplant Games

A Rothienorman teenager will be representing Great Britain at the World Transplant Games in Australia in April 2023.

Eloise Lowrie has been asked to represent Great Britain at the World Transplant Games in Australia in April 2023.
Eloise Lowrie has been asked to represent Great Britain at the World Transplant Games in Australia in April 2023.

Eloise Lowrie (17) will be competing in Badminton and Table Tennis, where she won Gold and Silver at the British Transplant Games earlier this year.

Eloise received the greatest gift of all - a new heart - when she was just over a year old and has competed in the British Transplant Games most years since she was just 18 months old until this last summer, as part of Great Ormond Street Hospital Hearts and Lungs team.

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GOSH is one of only 2 Paediatric Heart Transplant Units in the UK.

Eloise wants to use this fantastic opportunity, not only to honour her donor and their family for their truly amazing gift, but to also raise awareness of organ donation and the need for child donors as well as adults.

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Mum Sarah said: “ It is a very difficult topic to think about your wishes as an adult, but its even harder to consider what you would want to do if the worst were to happen to your child.

"If she can help get people thinking and talking about their wishes - whatever they decide to do - that would be amazing.

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“We can never thank her donor family enough for thinking about saving other children at the worst point of their lives.

"They have allowed us to have our daughter for an extra 16 years (so far!), but perhaps helping others to talk about their wishes may go a small way to show our gratitude.”

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Eloise does have to fund the trip herself (estimated at approx £6000 for her and an accompanying adult) so is also looking for any sponsorship possible via www.justgiving.com/Eloise-wtg23

Any money raised goes directly to Transplant Sport which she can then access for direct Games related costs only. Any extra money will go to Transplant Sport charity.

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The GB team has 150 transplant athletes, including ten juniors, six donor and live donors and 50+ supporters.

40% of the team are new members and all the transplant athletes have been selected following their success at this year’s Westfield Health British Transplant Games which took place in Leeds and the European Transplant Games, hosted in Oxford.

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Athletes have all survived a heart, lung, kidney, pancreas, liver, small bowel, or bone marrow transplant, and come from all parts of the UK.

The World Transplant Games, which works in partnership with the charity Transplant Sport, usually take place every two years and are supported by the International Olympic Committee.

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Due to the pandemic, the last time the Games took place was 2019 in Newcastle.

The sporting event represents the largest organ donor awareness event in the world, featuring a week of 17 sporting events.

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Team Great Britain and NI (Team GB) will join over 1,000 other transplant athletes and live donors fr om 60 countries across the globe.

Lynne Holt, Team Manager, said: “We are delighted to be demonstrating the benefits of transplantation. We aim to exceed the gold medals won at the 2019 World Transplant Games in Newcastle and to win the trophy for the best team.

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"These Games certainly deserve the same recognition as the Olympic and Para Olympic Games.

“It is always a little daunting competing at the World Transplant Games, but with the help of those who have been before, together with the coaches, captains, management, medical and physio teams, the experience will be a rewarding one for all involved.

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"All these incredible people are Transplant Sport volunteers and give their time freely – without them the Games wouldn’t be possible.

“Selection on to our team is just the beginning, it is an enormous commitment of both time and money.

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"The next 5 months will be busy for the athletes, keeping fit, regularly training in their sport, attending regular team training meets, doing publicity, and trying to raise the £4,000 per person to get there.

"However, the opportunity to compete, celebrate life and in doing so, paying tribute to their donors, is the goal.”

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Lynne added: “Not only are these athletes' ambassadors for organ donation, but they are also representing the charity, Transplant Sport, with the aim to raise awareness of organ donation here in the UK and globally. Part of this also includes encouraging conversations with friends and family to discuss their wishes regarding organ donation and signing up for the Organ Donor Register.”

Dr Paul Harden, Chair of Trustees for Transplant Sport, added: “The Games are an important reminder of the importance of physical health and wellbeing and how organ donation gives the gift of life and opportunities to so many.”

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The World Transplant Games, are being held 15th-21st April 2023 in Perth, Australia.

For more information on the World Transplant Games, visit www.worldtransplantgames.org