When Dr Gill Owens from Yarm became one of the first 500 people in the UK to altruistically donate a kidney in March 2015, little did she think that it would lead to her representing her country in a sports event. However that’s exactly what has happened. For the first time donor events are to be featured in the World Transplant Games and in June 2017 she flies out to Malaga representing GB & NI in the 100 metres sprint, a distance that she was very successful at, albeit as a schoolgirl 35 years ago!
Gill is being sponsored by her employer Teesside University who are covering the costs of competition entry, flights and accommodation as well as 2 UK based training events ahead of the games. She will also benefit from practical support and training from the Sports Science Department within the University and is currently in the process of assembling ‘Team Gill’ from the group of experts employed at the University. Having only received notification of being chosen for the event a week ago, the training regime has already begun, starting of course with putting a training kit together ahead of receiving her official ‘Team GB’ kit from the World Transplant Games official body.
And the final word from Gill?
“This is an amazing and totally unexpected opportunity for me and the best incentive that I could have to get myself ‘track ready’ fit. More importantly it is a chance to promote the cause of both organ donation and transplant sport to help demonstrate that you can enjoy a perfectly fit, healthy and active life after either donating or receiving a kidney”.