Year 11 student Lydia is set to take part in the 5km time trial at the World Transplant Games in Malaga later this year.
Lydia was born with a progressive terminal liver disease called Progressive Familial Intrahepatic Cholestasis (pfic) in 2000. Lydia first displayed symptoms shortly after she was born and in 2007 at the age of six underwent a life-saving and life-enhancing transplant.
She grabbed this second chance at life firmly with both hands and loves to ride her bike and compete. Most Sundays, she goes out on her bike, in particular, seeking out hills to ride up.
Lydia has been selected to represent the UK in cycling at the World Transplant Games following her stunning performance at the British Transplant Games this year in Liverpool, where she won both the Time-Trial and the Road Race in her age group and came third overall.
The British Transplant Games are organised on behalf of Transplant Sport. The Games were inaugurated in 1978 in Portsmouth by Maurice Slapak, who at the time was a Consultant Transplant Surgeon.
Over the past 35 years the Games have grown to a four day annual event with over 800 transplant recipients aged from two to eighty years old taking part in over 20 different sports with over 1000 supporters watching on.
Some members come to win medals, training for their specialist events, hoping to be selected for Team Great Britain and Northern Ireland competing at the World Transplant Games. Most come to meet new friends, catch up with old friends; enjoy new sports at their own pace and relaxing for a few days with others who’ve also faced debilitating illness but are now fit and well as a result of a successful transplant.
Non-uniform day – Friday 3 February
We are holding a non-uniform day on Friday 3 February to help raise money to support Lydia with travel costs to the World Transplant Games and to also take the opportunity to raise awareness about organ donation.
The national transplant team is entirely self-funded and team Great Britain and Northern Ireland were the largest team at the 2015 World Transplant Games in Argentina.
This year’s Games are taking place in Malaga and run from 25 June to 2 July. Selection to the team is an enormous commitment of both time and money. Its a busy time for athletes, keeping fit, regularly training in their sport, attending regular team training meets, doing publicity and trying to raise approximately £2,000 per person to get there.
On average three people die every day because there just aren’t enough organs available.
Currently, only 50% of the population have talked about organ donation with their family.
There are insufficient donors and people die waiting for a life saving transplant. 98% would take an organ if they needed one but only 31% of people are registered as donors.
Right now, more than 7,500 people in the UK need an organ transplant. More donors means more lives saved.