Luton transplant survivor going for gold medal at Winter Games
A Luton businessman has his sights set on gold as he heads to the World Transplant Winter Games to spread an important message about organ donation.
Determined Dino Maroudias, 54, who has survived a kidney and pancreas transplant, will be travelling to Banff to represent Team Great Britain from February 23 - 29, competing in snow shoe walking and curling.
The businessman will join over 100 competitors from 16 countries across the world, all of whom have overcome ill health and received successful organ transplants.
Dino said: “It’s my first time in Canada and I’m really looking forward to it. The average temperature at the moment is between minus 20 and minus 31, so hopefully it will be a bit warmer!
“I’m hoping to return with a gold medal for curling - we won last time.
“I love the ethos, the team spirit. There’s also an opening ceremony, and a gala dinner at the end.”
However, aside from the sporting fun, the teams are there to spread an important message to their countries and to the people of Banff.
In England, for example, from spring 2020, all adults will be listed as an organ donor when they die, unless they have recorded a decision to ‘opt-out’. However, families will still be given the final say over whether their relative’s organs can be taken.
Dino said: “I think that if somebody has kidney failure and they, and their families, would be prepared to accept one, then you should also be prepared to give. For example, there’s dads, granddads, and young boys on the waiting list who are poorly and want to live. It’s as severe as cancer.
“I’m still on 15 tablets a day, but I’m glad that I’ve got the opportunity to go out and compete and show the world that we [transplant survivors] are not zombies, we’re actually OK, and happy.
“I’d like to get the British Transplant Games to come to Luton.”