Widnes resident with 20 per cent lung capacity wins silver at transplant games (From Runcorn and Widnes World)
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Widnes resident with 20 per cent lung capacity wins silver at transplant games
12:30pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in News
A WIDNES resident won a silver medal at the British Transplant Games in Sheffield.
Mark Allen, a Halton Council press officer, battled through the largest age category to come second in the table tennis tournament.
He was left with just 20 per cent of the lung capacity of a normal person after he underwent a double lung transplant and now competes for the Newcastle hospital that saved his life.
Mark, aged 41, said: “What is great about the British Transplant Games is that the whole town gets involved and all the local press so it creates lots of publicity for transplants and organ donations.
"I was told 22,000 people in Sheffield have joined the register since the local media campaign started about a year ago.”
Mark, of Deirdre Avenue, Widnes, suffered from cystic fibrosis and is keen to encourage others to become organ donors.
“I used to play table tennis in my teens but had to stop when I was ill. After the transplant I took it up again and I just enjoy it,” he said.
Mark plays for Halton Table Tennis Club at the Select Security Stadium. He competes as often as he can and also takes part in javelin and shot put events.
He said: “I’ll be having a bit of a rest now because it does take it out of me. I’ll compete in a few local competitions and maybe do fundraising challenge next year for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.
“It is always great to see others whose lives have been saved through organ donation. I know it hasn’t been plain sailing since my double lung transplant in 2005 as look with envy at the games at people who have had little or no rejection and are lucky enough to be able to run and jump. But there are a lot of people who are not well enough to compete at all.”
Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk for details about joining the register.
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