An inspirational transplant athlete from Wigan will kick-off his Westfield Health British Transplant Games campaign today.
Paul Reynolds, who resides in Goose Green, had a kidney transplant four years ago and will compete in the games which take place in Liverpool until Sunday.
His sister Catherine was the kind donor, and Paul insists he is now living life to the full.
Paul will be representing the Manchester adults transplant team, because that is where he had his transplant.
He will be taking part in multiple sporting events including badminton, 10-pin bowling, table tennis, swimming, the long jump and the donor run.
He said: “I am really looking forward to taking part in the British Transplant Games and I can’t wait to meet other people like myself.
“I am honoured to be there, in gratitude of my donor and my family.”
The Games will welcome over 900 participants and their families, as well as the supporters who attend the event.
An uplifting sporting event, it acts as an opportunity for sporting competition between fellow transplant athletes, and also encourages participants to live a healthy lifestyle following their transplants.
The Games are a true celebration of life, with donor families invited as guests of honour.
The donors also present medals to the participants and represent the many people who gave the gift of life to so many organ transplant patients.
Participants, who range from the age of two to 82, will take part in more than 25 different sporting activities.
The Games clearly demonstrate the life changing and life saving power of organ donation, and act as a vehicle to increase awareness of the organ donor register.
It also highlights the need for people to let their families know their wishes when they need a transplant.
Lynne Holt from Charity Transplant Sport (TSUK), the organisers of the Westfield Health British Transplant Games, said: “Many of our transplant athletes have experienced near death situations and long illness, and it is very gratifying to see them able to enjoy a full life thanks to organ donation.
“We are very much looking forward to welcoming the transplant patients to the Games in Liverpool, alongside the donor families.
“Everyone can celebrate the gift of life through this incredible sporting event.”
Holt added: “The Games aim to add over 10,000 new signatures to the organ donor register and encourage those who do sign to have the ‘donation conversation’ with their families, in order to let them know their wishes.
Currently 42 per cent of families still refuse to consent to organ donation.”