Double-lung transplant mum Natalie Kerr has been chosen to represent the hospital where she had transplant surgery at next year’s Transplant Games.
Natalie, 31, from Adlington, Chorley, will fly the flag for Team Wythenshawe at the Westfield Health British Transplant Games due to be held in Bolton next August.
The mum-of-two will take part in the games with her two children, 11-year-old Brandon and five-year-old Isabelle.
Natalie, a former Royal Bolton Hospital nurse, said it is “great” to have been chosen to take part in the games.
She said: “It’s not about the results it is about everyone coming together to celebrate the fact we are all alive after a transplant and have been given a second chance and to raise awareness of organ donation.
“There’s quite a lot of people involved. I want to raise awareness.
“There’s not enough transplants happening. People are dying while they are waiting. I am so thankful that I am alive.
“It could have been a very different story for me.”
She added: “I am hoping to do the 5k walk, but really Iwant to do as much as I can.”
Natalie was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension while in labour with Isabelle.
The condition causes high pressure in the arteries of her lungs, and eventually leads to heart failure.
She was warned she would only live for three more years and she was later told her only hope was the double-lung transplant
She was put on the waiting list and faced a nervous wait for the same size organ donor with the same blood and tissue type to be able to undergo treatment.
A match was eventually found in February 2012 and she underwent an eight-hour operation at Manchester’s Wythenshaw Hospital.
The British Transplant Games are organised by Charity Transplant Sport and are one of the largest annual multi-sports events in the United Kingdom.
The event will be hosted in the Bolton region over four days and nights in August 2014.
The games will bring more than 600 recipients of a life-saving organ transplant together.
To find out how to become an organ donor or a blood donor, call 0300 123 23 23.
Alternatively you can visit the site blood.co.uk or uktransplant.org.uk.