A determined Luton businessman is proud to be representing Great Britain as he goes for gold at the World Transplant Games.
Brave Dino Maroudias, who battled kidney failure, is part of a 320-strong squad which will be heading up to Newcastle Gateshead on August 17 to compete and raise support and awareness for organ donation.
The team, the largest ever, including 35 juniors and 15 live donors, were selected following their success at last year’s Westfield Health British Transplant Games in Birmingham. They have all survived organ transplants.
Dino, who will be taking part in the petanque, table tennis, badminton and race walk games, said: “I’m looking forward to meeting up with everyone. I have got my life back and I live it to the fullest.
“However, I’ve got a friend who can’t come to the games. He’s slowly getting worse and it’s horrific to see. That’s why we make this plea.”
Dino was diagnosed with diabetes aged 18 and in 2007 he had a transplant after being diagnosed with organ failure in 2006.
His brother Andy made a life-saving kidney donation, and Dino also had a pancreas transplant in 2012 to try and cure his diabetes. However, it was unsuccessful and he now needs another.
Dino is pleased that as of spring 2020, all adults in England will be considered an organ donor when they die unless they had recorded a decision not to donate or are in one of the excluded groups.
Until then, he is encouraging people to sign up to the Organ Donor Register.
Lynne Holt, team manager, added: “Not only are these athletes ambassadors for organ donation, but they are also representing the charity, Transplant Sport , and hope to raise more awareness here in the UK and globally, of the need for more people to consider donation, sign on to the Organ Donor Register and discuss their wishes with family and friends.”
To sign up: www.organdonation.nhs.uk