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Community Events

Transplant Sport Kids Fun Weekend

18 and 19 May 2019 Kendal Snowsports & Kendal Leisure Centre
Max Johnson

Children who are facing or who have received transplants are coming to Kendal at the end of May for a weekend of fun and adventure, including the eight year old who was the face of the campaign to change the law.

Max Johnson was a heart transplant recipient who has been the face of the recent organ donation bill going through Parliament for presumed consent – Max and Keira’s law. Max, from Cheshire, won a Child of Britain award last year.

Twenty two children and their families will be getting together in Kendal over the weekend to have fun, try new activities and make friends with other children and families who have experienced the difficult but amazing transplant journey. Many will have missed out on all sorts of opportunities due to prolonged illness or ill health within their family. But now is the opportunity for them to catch up with those of us who have not been seriously ill, thanks to the decisions of their organ donor and organ donor family.

This is our third Transplant Sport Kendal Kids Fun Weekend with children having fun, making friends and improving their health and wellbeing. This year 22 children and families have already signed up. Amongst those attending will be Max Johnson, the young heart transplantee who has been so instrumental in getting the law changed on organ donation to one of presumed consent – the so called Max and Keira’s law. We are delighted to welcome him and all the other young people to Kendal, the first ever designated Organ Donor Town.

As well as supporting children and families in this way, Transplant Sport (TS) promotes a greater awareness of the benefits of transplantation and the desperate need for more people to join the NHS Organ Donor Register and, equally importantly, to discuss their wishes with their loved ones. Even though there is an increase in organ donors this year there are still too many who die before an organ is available.

On Saturday 18 May, Kendal Snowsports are providing a day of activities for children from transplant families. Very few of the children have experienced snow sports so having the chance to ski or board and to ride the tubes will be a fantastic and fun challenge. Thanks to Kendal Snowsports for their amazing generosity in providing use of their facilities and instructors and covering all the costs themselves.

Kendal Leisure Centre (Better) will be hosting a day of sports and games on Sunday during the day. There will be a wide range of activities for different ages in the sports hall – from soft play, parachute play and a bouncy castle, to badminton, table tennis and swimming. Kendal Organ Donor Town and the Saturday Hospital Fund will be funding food plus refreshments and Transplant Sport the venue & activities for the day.

Alison Bloxham from Kendal Organ Donor Town, says Kendal organ donor town committee was started in 2015 when the then mayor of Kendal, Cllr Chris Hogg made organ donation the key campaign of his year and stated the aim of signing up 1000 new donors onto the register in Kendal.  In early 2016 he donated a kidney to his wife Rachael and as a result of his efforts Kendal not only reached it’s avowed target but was officially recognised as the first Organ donor town in May 2016.  Since that time our aim has been to continue raising awareness of organ donation and encouraging people to have the conversation. The kids weekend was started in 2017 and we continue to campaign at local events to improve knowledge about the benefits of organ donation.

Simon Elmore, TS Kids & Teens Coordinator, is supported by BBC Children in Need, to help organise events and activities that make a big difference for children. Simon says “It’s so important that children who have a transplant or have experienced a brother or sister or parent having a transplant, get the chance to make friends with others who have had a similar experience. The support you get from peers can make a really big difference as you deal with the ups and downs of the transplant journey. Hopefully, this event will encourage more people to sign the donor register and have a conversation with their families about being a donor.”

Thank you all for your support in giving children a chance to do activities and smile!

If you or your family want to know more about being involved or want to know more on how to support this wonderful Event and future Events, then please call or Email Simon: – 07473 194080 [email protected]

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