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ITPS’ Andrew Dorrian is attending 2023 World Transplant Games

Posted on: 6th March 2023

ITPS’ Practice Lead Architect Andrew Dorrian has been selected to represent Team Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Australia’s 2023 World Transplant Games in April. With the trip being self-funded, Andrew initially set out to raise over £5,500 to be able to take up his selection. Right at the start, ITPS made a generous donation and covered the cost of his direct flights in full, enabling Andrew to vastly reduce the amount he needed to raise. Andrew is currently working towards a reduced target of £2,000 via his JustGiving page to support him in the final funds required for his trip.

Team Great Britain and Northern Ireland has 135 transplant athletes. The athletes have gone through a mix of heart, lung, kidney, pancreas, liver, small bowel, or bone marrow transplant, and come from all across the UK. In 2011 Andrew was given a diagnosis of igA Nephropathy, with just 19% kidney function remaining (yet he felt fine)!

After two years of treatment and dialysis at Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital he got ‘the call’ and within 12 hours he received his life saving transplant in August 2013 – and the transplant has made a great difference to his life.

Andrew said “As I received my transplant in the Newcastle Freeman Hospital’s Institute of Transplantation, I decided to compete for Newcastle Adults Transplant Team here in the North East, and have been involved in Transplant Sport now since 2016. Being chosen for the World Games has been my biggest achievement so far. But all the games are self-funded by athletes, so the fundraising will help to pay for registration fees, hotels, training and a lot more.”

Andrew’s life has changed a lot since his transplant. “Within six months you wouldn’t have known there was anything wrong with me, I was able to go out there and grab life. Instead of not doing anything on lunchtimes, I now try to walk a few miles a day. I go out no matter what the weather is, on a Sunday morning I’m up and out before 7am on a 20+ mile bike ride.”

Andrew hopes to inspire others to take part in transplant sports. He said he’s a good example of what you can do if you give things a go, and social media is a great tool which allows you to find others who haven’t competed before.

At the World Transplant Games, Andrew will be competing in Pétanque, Bowling and Race Walking. In the past he has taken part in a variety of sports, such as cycling, archery and snooker – and he continues to compete in both the Annual British Transplant Games and the European Transplant and Dialysis Sporting Championships.

Andrew also told us the value in taking part in Transplant Sport competitions. He said “Transplant Sport publicises what is possible, and when you’re competing you’re not competing for just yourself, you’re competing for two people.” He feels that sport allows you to maintain a level of fitness as well as seeing sporting family across the country.

In Andrew’s JustGiving article, he showed that organ donation improves lives. At the beginning of his transplant, Andrew was in hospital three times a week from 5.30pm-12am, but now he has a normal and enjoyable life. This change means he’s been able to see friends from across the country that he hadn’t seen in a number of years. Andrew has taken part in the Kidney Research annual Bridge Walk with thousands of others, and on the London walk you get to see the spectacle of hundreds of people dressed in purple walking across the River Thames, having fun and talking to passing spectators – which raises publicity for charities and research. In fact in 2019 he became one of a handful of people who have done the events in Newcastle, Glasgow and London!

Read his full transplant story on Andrew’s JustGiving page and please join us in helping Andrew reach his fundraising goal, any donations would be gratefully received.

“If you can make someone think twice about organ donation, that’s priceless,” he said.

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