Michael Kiely from Kilglass, Mitchelstown will take part in his first ever Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain later this month, representing Transplant Team Ireland in the 50-59 age category. He will be competing in the golf singles, golf team, petanque singles and 100m freestyle swimming event.
A new addition to the Irish team, Michael, is happily married to Mary and he runs his own haulage business. Michael and his sister Annette Beston underwent a living donor kidney transplant in 2012 at Beaumont Hospital, Dublin.
This life changing event followed him having to undergo three years of haemodialysis treatment at Cork University Hospital.
An active member of the Cork branch of the Irish Kidney Association, Michael explained, “I’m really looking forward to my first ever Transplant Games. It is a privilege and honour to be able to represent my country as part of Transplant Team Ireland and by participating, I hope to play my small part in helping to increase awareness about the huge importance of organ donation and acknowledge the wonderful legacy of organ donors and their families from all over the world.”
The Irish Kidney Association is responsible for coordinating and managing Transplant Team Ireland’s participation at European and World Transplant Games events. Colin White, the National Projects Manager of the Irish Kidney Association is the Ireland team manager and he is also currently the treasurer of the World Transplant Games Federation.
Commenting on the Games, Colin said, “This year the World Transplant Games Federation is celebrating 30 years and we can be proud of the tradition that our team has in the competition. Our team is known for its sense of fair play as well as its sense of fun, with both underpinned by a steely competitive edge. Our athletes are coming from across the country and their dedication and commitment is not only to their training, in practical terms, they also fund the vast majority of the costs involved. Their motivation is driven by a determination to be fit for life, to show other ‘patients’ what can be achieved post-transplant and to encourage the general public to have a family discussion about organ donation”.
Having recently competed in the Irish Kidney Association’s Run For A Life family fun run, which took place on Saturday, 20th May at Corkagh Park, Clondalkin, Dublin, Michael, along with Transplant Team Ireland will depart for Spain from Dublin Airport on Saturday, June 24.