AN INSPIRATIONAL man whose life was saved by a bone marrow donor is set to compete in the World Transplant Games.
Simon Perkin from Warwick was told his life was on a ‘knife edge’ after he was diagnosed with blood cancer in 2012.
Doctors warned him his only chance of survival was a bone marrow transplant, and charity Anthony Nolan Trust eventually matched him with a donor.
The 50 year-old – who is a director for Leamington ParkRun – said: “When I was diagnosed with blood cancer my whole world fell apart.
“As time ticked away my health deteriorated to such an extent that I was getting frequent infections, continually being hospitalised, needing frequent blood transfusions and I feared for my life. It was only when a kind stranger was found on the database, living in Germany, that there was a chance that I might get a second chance of a normal life.
“Since then I have been trying to keep myself in the best shape possible, raise awareness for blood, stem cell and organ donation and improve people’s lives. This is my opportunity to give something back to my kind donor and the wonderful healthcare professionals but also to raise awareness of how anybody can do a selfless act of donating blood or a vital organ to save a life.“
Simon will represent Team GB at the World Transplant Games – an event held to raise awareness about organ transplants – in Spain this June.
He will compete in golf and the 5K, 1,500m and 800m races against transplant athletes from 70 other countries.
Simon – who take part to raise money for Transplant Sport – will also be spreading the word about becoming a health champion, which allows people to shape local health by completing surveys, taking part in consultations and getting involved in health events.
South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group is currently looking for around 2,500 more people to become health champions in the area.
Visit www.southwarwickshireccg.nhs.uk to find out more and visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/SimonPerkinWTG2017 to sponsor Simon.