Heathcote-based Peter Frazier is delighted to see the Westfield Health British Transplant Games return to his home city of Birmingham for the first time in 19 years, having been involved with the games since 1979.
With over 1,000 competitors taking part over 24 different sports, the August games, which will be hosted by the University of Birmingham, promise to be some spectacle, with over 2,500 people expected to attend.
Frazier says that it was the Games which proved decisive in motivating him to regain fitness after a successful kidney transplant 40 years ago, aged just 28.
The middle-distance runner, who left the police force when kidney decease struck in his early twenties, received dialysis for six years and endured a severely restricted lifestyle until his transplant in 1978.
Frazier, who was a torchbearer in Leamington for the 2012 London Olympics, published his life story a few years ago, detailing his running achievements after transplantation.
Humbly, this is titled Almost an Athlete - but his medal collection, which includes two golds representing Great Britain at the World Transplant Games, suggests otherwise.
Talking about his journey to recovery, Peter, who lives off Harbury Lane, said: “After six years of renal dialysis, my life was changed. I went from being totally inactive to virtually being able to take part in any sport.
“The British Transplant Games gave me the opportunity to do this.
“The Games provide an excellent platform for promoting organ donation, which people like myself have benefited from greatly.
“I was the first transplantee to successfully complete a marathon in 1981 and have run other marathons, including the London Marathon twice since.
“Everyone competing in the British Transplant Games is a winner and I hope that through their participation, this year’s competitors will be sending the message that transplants do transform lives.”
Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital is home to the largest solid organ transplantation programme in Europe and has always been very supportive of the British Transplant Games.
Peter’s remarkable story is one of many incredible successes achieved by transplantees at the Games and the region will no doubt benefit once again when the Westfield Health British Transplant Games return to Birmingham this summer, from August 2 to 5.
You can sign up now to the Organ Donor Register at http://bit.ly/1sAEDaI