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"I was staring death in the face" - Warwick man set to compete at European Transplant Games; Simon came close to death, and is now making the most of life.

Byline: Elis Sandford

A Warwick man who stared death in the face is set to compete in an international sporting competition, just years after his lifesaving transplant.

Simon Perkin travelled to Cagliari in Italy with over 50 other athletes from the UK for the European Transplant Games this weekend.

But just years ago, he was in no fit state to do anything with hislife hanging in the balance.

Simon, now 53, was suffering after intensive chemotherapy, a failed bone marrow transplant, constant sickness, countless blood transfusions and hospitalisation for over a hundred days.

He had a second, ultimately life-saving transplant, and now he is set to represent team GB at the games which began yesterday and end today (June 17).

Simon will be running in the 5k, 1500m and 800m and playing tennis, as Team GB Tennis captain.

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The 10th installment of the games, competitors are all kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas, bone marrow transplant recipients and dialysis patients. Simon said: "It's so exciting to be part of a small group of fellow transplantees who will be taking part in the European Games, as we each celebrate the gift of life.

"I am only alive because a kind stranger decided to step forward and donate their bone marrow, I would urge anyone to do the same because sadly, every day, three people die in the UK because they can't find a donor.

"I want to help those patients and their families who are suffering desperately, both physically and emotionally, whilst waiting on the transplant list."

Closer to home, the Westfield Health British Transplant Games are set to take place later this summer, and in 2020, the games come to Coventry.

Some 60 teams competing in 24 sports are set to compete in Birmingham between August 2-5. More information can be found on the British Transplant Games websitehere.

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Simon Perkin competing, just years after his lifesaving transplant

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Publication:Coventry Telegraph (Coventry, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jun 17, 2018
Words:384
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