Going for gold on the greens
NURSING a broken foot sustained at squash training won't stop Jeremy Gunders from hitting the green at the World Transplant Games next month.
Mr Gunders will travel to the Gold Coast with his family for support to compete for Australia in lawn bowls.
The 28-year-old, from Bellbird Park, will celebrate more than a quest for gold at the games; he will celebrate his new chance at life as a kidney transplant recipient in 2004.
Apart from his sporting achievements, Mr Gunders said the three most important things he was able to do since his transplant included the simple pleasure of drinking water whenever he pleased, having a full-time job and being able to holiday without the need to be near a dialysis unit.
“I used to have dialysis on a Saturday morning before lawn bowls which affected my playing,” Mr Gunders said.
“I've always been fairly active but the transplant has changed my life for the better.
“I'm not sure what to expect about the games but I'm pretty excited.
“To be part of raising awareness for donations is really important to me too.”
Mr Gunders will join 300 Australians competing in the games against more than 2000 people from 50 countries from August 22 to 30.
Transplant Australia CEO Chris Thomas said the organisation was honoured to be hosting the games, which were the world's largest awareness event for organ and tissue donation and are staged every two years by the World Transplant Games Federation.
“The Games demonstrate worldwide the living proof that transplantation saves lives,” Mr Thomas said.
“What's more it allows them a quality of life they might not have experienced for years.
“They can start a family, play sport, and get back into the workforce - all because of the generosity of someone else.
Transplant Australia is asking for Australians to join the world in celebration and to talk with their families about organ and tissue donation.
During the past 50 years organ donors and their families have helped renew the lives of up to 30,000 Australians through donation.