– written by Anisah Hussain, Children’s Renal Unit Assistant
On 27th July, I headed to North Lanarkshire with 22 young patients from the Children’s Renal Unit for the British Transplant Games.
The British Transplant Games is a four-day event staged annually in different cities around the UK. The event is a chance for people aged between four and eighty who have had a transplant to compete in a wide range of sporting activities and most of all, have fun. For this reason, the Transplant Games are also a celebration of life and recovery!
The Nottingham Children’s Transplant Games Team (a.k.a. The Kinder Crew) is growing and getting stronger every year. This year we had a record number of competitors from the Children’s Renal Unit taking part, and eleven of them were participating for the first time. We also had our youngest competitor ever: four-year old Jack Cox, who had a kidney transplant when he was just three-years old!
The participation of these young people was dependent on charity support and donations. Their travel, accommodation and kit were covered by two grants. We received a staggering £23,000 from Nottingham Hospitals Charity, much of which was raised by patients’ families, and a £5,000 grant from Kidney Care UK (formerly British Kidney Transplant Association). These contributions are honestly priceless because they meant that patients and their families could attend the games without worrying about the financial implications. The funding from Kidney Care UK and Nottingham Hospitals Charity also meant that we were able to expand the Kinder Crew, enabling more young people to attend, and allowing more families to join them!
The team spirit and morale among participants and their families was truly fabulous to watch. Our youngsters made lifelong friends: big shout-out to our BFF’s Eve, Jack, Mia and Ella (yes, I remember the hand-holding J). Parents who attended with their kids also found a support in each other, sharing their stories, struggles, and happiness too. On the coaches and at the events we all sang our team chant:
“We are Nottingham’s Kinder Crew,
Winning medals is what we do,
Gold, silver and bronze too,
Watch out cause we’re coming through!”
Nottingham Kinder Crew came home with twenty-three medals, four of which were gold, and two from first-timers!
Thank you to everyone who helped making this year’s British Transplant Games our biggest yet, especially the families who rallied hard for donations, our volunteer chaperones, and the charities that helped fund our team trip. And, finally, and huge thanks from me to our little troopers for making Nottingham Hospitals and The Nottingham Kinder Crew truly proud!
Watch the video we made in the build-up to the Games, featuring some of the Kinder Crew and volunteers!