Transplant survivor has sights set on tenth gold medal
A woman who received a life-saving kidney transplant is going for gold for the tenth time when she represents Sheffield in the Westfield Health British Transplant Games at the end of this week.
Melissa Slaney, from Bakewell in Derbyshire, suffered Chronic Renal Failure and underwent two years of dialysis treatment before receiving a transplant aged 26. She is now heading to NewcastleGateshead to compete for the tenth time in the table tennis at the 2015 Transplant Games.
Although leading an active lifestyle and working hard to remain fit throughout her treatment and following her transplant, Melissa had never tried her hand at table tennis.
Melissa said: “I took up the sport as a hobby to begin with, but instantly fell in love with the game and was soon playing in local leagues.
“I took part in my first Transplant Games in Loughborough in 2005, winning gold at my first attempt. Following this I’ve since won it eight more times.”
In 2009, Melissa was invited to represent the country at the World Transplant Games in Australia and she went on to win gold again, and became a World Champion.
Melissa also competed at the World Games in Durban, South Africa in 2011, winning gold in the cycling Time Trial, making her a World Champion in two sports.
Melissa continued: “The aim of the Westfield Health British Transplant Games is to not only raise awareness of the need for more people to register as donors, but to encourage people to share their wishes with their loved ones.
“I understand just how important that is, because everything I have achieved to date has all been possible thanks to the generosity of my donor 19 years ago.
“This year is particularly important for me as I celebrate my tenth time at the Games, and I feel extremely grateful that I am able to be a part of it.”
To find out more about the Westfield Health British Transplant Games 2015 visit www.britishtransplantgames.co.uk, ‘like’ The British Transplant Games on Facebook, or follow @WHBTG on Twitter.