SIMON Perkin’s dream to represent Great Britain at this year’s World Transplant Games in Malaga has been given a major boost thanks to a £600 donation by local law firm Lodders.
The Warwick resident was diagnosed with Blood Cancer in 1991 at the age of 26 and after years of treatment and his deteriorating health, was left with no alternative but to have a life-saving bone marrow transplant in July 2012, when a donor match was found.
Since the operation, Simon’s health has steadily improved and a major part of his recovery has been keeping himself in the best possible health and physical shape, while scoring some significant personal fitness and sporting achievements along the way.
He completed the London Marathon just 18 months after his transplant and he won four gold medals at a World Transplant Games qualifying event in Liverpool last summer, which earned him a place in the GB team for the Games in Spain.
“Representing Team GB at the World Transplant Games for Transplant Sport UK represents a major personal achievement,” said Perkin.
“I feel immensely proud to have been selected, and to be alive. But the Games also represent a big part of my quest to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.
“In the UK, three people die every day because there are no organ or blood donors for them. It means a lot to me to help raise awareness of blood, stem cell and organ donation.
“The event is important in so many ways, especially as it raises awareness around the world of organ transplantation which saves lives.
“At the Games, I will be competing at golf and running in the 5K, 1500m and 800m against the world’s best transplant athletes from up to seventy countries and I am training hard and looking forward to the whole experience, with my sights on a Gold medal.”
The World Transplant Games take place from June 25 to July 2 and involve almost 2,000 competitors from 70 nations worldwide. All athletes taking part will have received an organ or stem cell transplant, and have to fund their expenses to take part themselves.
In a step to both cover his own costs and raise money for Transplant Sport UK, Simon has launched a fundraising campaign.
“I will cover as much of the cost of getting to Malaga and the kit I need, but the fundraising target has been set at £2,500, to help with these expenses, and importantly, to also generate funds for Transplant Sport UK, the British organising team.
“My wife Jane is a partner at Lodders and also a keen runner like me, and last year I was invited to join her and Lodders’ corporate team taking part in the Stratford Big 10k event.
“When Lodders’ team heard of my selection for Team GB at The World Transplant Games, they asked how they could help. When I told them of my fundraising campaign, Lodders quickly arranged for the generous donation of £600, the largest donation to my campaign.
“I’ve been given a massive opportunity with Transplant Sport UK to represent Team GB and compete at the 2017 World Transplant Games this summer, and Lodders’ support and that of friends and family also making donations is really making the difference for me to get there.”
“Simon is a true inspiration,” said Martin Green, who is a senior partner at Lodders. “He has battled a life-threatening disease and endured major treatment to emerge a highly motivated, driven, and fit individual.
“The firm is delighted to make the donation and support him on the international stage at the Games which are so important in raising awareness of blood, stem cell and organ donation around the world.”
For more information about Simon’s participation in the 2017 World Transplant Games and to make a donation, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/SimonPerkinWTG2017