NSW athletes, once on the brink of death, now cleaning up in medal tally for organ donation awareness at Australian Transplant Games

Transplant recipients competing in Western Sydney for the 15th Australian Transplant Games are having a field day, scoring big wins for New South Wales in the swimming and cycling events.

Team NSW are currently sitting at over 50 gold medals – with results still to come in.

Among them is 49-year-old Michelle Daley, a liver recipient from Concord West. Daley has won 9 gold medals in swimming, cycling, and volleyball – where NSW beat the Victorian team by one point in a thrilling grand final.

Meanwhile, Manly local and kidney recipient, Bryan Rollins, scored gold in the triathlon and cycling.

Inspirational kidney recipient and NSW Police Officer Paul Hudson, from Cambridge Gardens, ran away with pole position in the 30km cycling road race and multiple swimming events. The 34-year-old father has been in the spotlight in NSW, raising awareness for the benefits of organ and tissue donation.

NSW team manager, Heather Edgell, says there is a reason that athletes from the Blue state are hard to beat.

“Our athletes are supportive people, who are committed to competing to the best of their ability to showcase the benefits of organ and tissue donation. Their aim is to inspire others who have just had their transplants; to show them, if we can do it, you can do it too. Our motto is ‘you can do anything’.”

Hundreds of people whose lives have been touched by organ and tissue donation have travelled to Western Sydney for the country’s largest organ and tissue donation awareness events.

Transplant Australia will stage the Australian Transplant Games from 24 September to 1 October in Western Sydney to promote the benefits of donation and transplantation, and help transplant recipients strive towards improved health and fitness.

NSW Health Minister The Hon Jillian Skinner declared the Games open on Saturday.

Chosen as the location of the Australian Transplant Games to promote organ and tissue donation to multicultural communities, who traditionally have lower organ donation rates, people from places as far as the US and India have arrived at Western Sydney to participate.

The Games exist to encourage more Aussies to join the Australian Organ Donor Register online at donatelife.gov.au. Donation proceeds in 91% of cases where the deceased was a registered donor, compared to just 52% if the person was not registered and the family had no prior knowledge. A third of Australians are currently on the national Australian Organ Donor Register.

About the Australian Transplant Games

The Australian Transplant Games are held every two years and celebrate the success of transplantation and encourage Australian families to discuss organ and tissue donation. They are open to transplant recipients, donor families, living donors, people on dialysis or awaiting a transplant and supporters. The Organ and Tissue Authority is the major sponsor of the Australian Transplant Games. NSW Health is the Major Supporter.

About Transplant Australia

Transplant Australia is the national community organisation promoting organ and tissue donation and caring for all those touched by transplantation. Its vision is for Australia to lead the world in organ and tissue donation and transplantation -saving lives, improving quality of life and providing much-needed care and support.

Contact: Transplant Australia Communications Manager, Jessica Younan

P | (02) 9922-5400 or 0401 206 402
E| jessica.younan@transplant.org.au
www.australiantransplantgames.com
www.donatelife.gov.au