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Olivia, 6, is off to Transplant Games
1:00pm Thursday 23rd August 2012 in News
A YOUNG girl whose life was changed when she was given a kidney by her dad has been picked to take part in the British Transplant Games.
Olivia Taylor, now six, was diagnosed with Wilms tumours of the kidneys when she was just 22 months old.
She had chemotherapy and both kidneys removed to beat the rare cancer.
She had to have dialysis three times a week just to survive until her dad Paul, 40, donated one of his kidneys in 2010.
Now two years on, Olivia, a pupil at Bournes Green Infant School in Thorpe Bay, has been chosen to represent Great Ormond Street Hospital in the sports competition, which brings together transplant patients from across the country.
Her mum Natalie, 38, from Thorpe Bay, said: “Olivia is doing very well. The kidney has been accepted by her body and she leads a very normal life.
“She’s doing amazingly after a very difficult start in life.
“She loves school and keeps up with all the other children.
“She’s so excited about the games. It will be a fun-filled busy four days and a lovely family weekend for us. We’re all looking forward to it.”
This year, the specialist children’s hospital in London is entering its largest-ever renal team into the games, with 19 participants.
Olivia, who remains on anti-rejection drugs, will be part of Team GOSH and represent the hospital in the obstacle course, ball throw, track race and long jump in Medway, Kent.
The games start tomorrow and run until Sunday. Olivia’s brother James, seven, will also have an opportunity to take part in the siblings’ races.
Natalie added: “These are all sports Olivia has never done before, but we watched the Olympics and she’s very excited about it.”
Suzanne Bradley, renal clinical nurse specialist at the hospital, said: “Olivia’s participation in the Transplant Games and her drive to do her best is a symbol of her own unique and personal achievements in life. I wish Olivia the very best.”