JUST five years ago, Clare Bond was waiting to receive the gift of life in the form of a new liver.
Now the 38-year-old from Hindley is preparing to travel to Argentina for a shot at glory at the World Transplant Games.
I don’t let it affect me, and that’s the message for transplant sport as a wholeClare Bond
Bond, a keen runner and swimmer, has been selected for the GB cycling squad despite only taking up the sport 18 months ago.
And the Development Officer at Health Shield can’t wait to lock wheels against the best of the best in the 20k Road Race and 5k Time Trial.
“I’ve only been cycling properly for 18 months but I absolutely love it,” said Bond.
“It started when I was doing a yoga class, and a lady there was into cycling.
“I heard about a bike event taking place in Manchester, and said to my husband, ‘We should do it’. The bike I used was about 20 years old, but I took to it immediately.
“I found cycling a lot easier way of keeping fit than running, and I started to enjoy it.
“After my transplant, running was putting a strain on my scar, but it’s fine on the bike.”
Bond competed in the British Transplant Games in Bolton last year, and will take her place in this year’s event in Newcastle next month before jetting out to Argentina with the rest of Team GB.
Having overcome primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) – a disease affecting the liver from which victims suffer crushing tiredness, jaundice and abdominal pains – she is living proof that anything is possible given the right attitude.
“When I discovered I had PBC, I never dreamed I’d need a transplant,” she added.
“I was just busy with life, my job, hoping to start a family.
“To be told need a transplant was an inconvenience really – I had no time for that!
“I’m very lucky in that I’m very healthy now.
“The first thing people say when they meet me is I don’t look like I’ve had a transplant.
“I’m up at 6am, in the gym for 7am, before going to work at my full-time job.
“I don’t let it affect me, and that’s the message for transplant sport as a whole.
“It doesn’t have to affect you. If you get on with it you can still achieve your goals.”