Bakewell transplant survivor sets sights on a tenth gold medal

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A woman who received a life-saving kidney transplant will be going for gold for the tenth time when she represents Sheffield in the Westfield Health British Transplant Games.

Melissa Slaney, from Bakewell, suffered Chronic Renal Failure and underwent two years of dialysis treatment before receiving a transplant, aged 26.

She is now heading to NewcastleGateshead to compete for the tenth time in the table tennis at the 2015 Transplant Games.

Melissa said: “I took up the sport as a hobby to begin with, but instantly fell in love with the game and was soon playing in local leagues.

“I took part in my first Transplant Games in Loughborough in 2005, winning gold at my first attempt. Following this I’ve since won it eight more times.”

Hosted annually by the charity Transplant Sport UK (TSUK) and sponsored by health insurer Westfield Health, the Games attract hundreds of athletes from across the UK – all of whom have undergone a life-saving transplant – to compete in a variety of sporting events.

In 2009, Melissa was invited to represent the country at the World Transplant Games in Australia and she went on to win gold again, and became a World Champion. Melissa also competed at the World Games in Durban, South Africa, in 2011, winning gold in the cycling Time Trial, making her a World Champion in two sports.

Melissa continued: “The aim of the Westfield Health British Transplant Games is to not only raise awareness of the need for more people to register as donors, but to encourage people to share their wishes with their loved ones.

“I understand just how important that is, because everything I have achieved to date has all been possible thanks to the generosity of my donor 19 years ago.”