Hogweed Trotter Ruth Medcroft wins two gold medals and two silvers at British Transplant Games 2013 in Sheffield
A RUNNER from Yate who received a life-saving transplant five years ago won two gold medals at the British Transplant Games.
Ruth Medcroft, 35, triumphed in the 3km walk and 400m race and also claimed silver in the 3km run and 1500m in the Female 30-39 category in Sheffield.
The annual four-day event sees athletes who have undergone major organ transplants compete over a wide variety of sporting activities, from toddlers to the super veteran age category of 70-plus.
Medcroft was diagnosed with a kidney condition as a child when it was thought that the damage was limited, but when she was 23-years-old she began to feel tired and unwell. Blood tests showed that her kidneys had started to deteriorate and Medcroft was told that if they continued failing at the rate they were she would be undergoing dialysis by the end of 2003. However, she changed her lifestyle, lost weight, gave up smoking, and took up running, joining the Hogweed Trotters in 2004, and did not start dialysing until late 2006.
“I did not have a great time on dialysis, but the support of my husband and daughter combined with the expert care of the doctors and nurses in the Richard Bright Renal Unit in Southmead hospital got me through,” said Medcroft.
“One of the nurses had mentioned the British Transplant Games to me, and although I wasn’t transplanted then, it became a goal to compete when I could.”
Medcroft was on the transplant list for less than two years and took part in the British Transplant Games for the first time in 2009, where she won gold in the walk, silver in the 100m and bronze in the 3km run in Coventry.
She has competed in every year since, winning silver in the walk at Bath 2010 and Belfast 2011, where she also took silver in the 100m and bronze in the 3km, before claiming silver in the walk and 100m and bronze in the 3km and 1500m at Medway last year.
However, Medcroft enjoyed her most successful Games in Sheffield after increasing the intensity of her training and a similar result in Bolton next year could see her qualify for the World Transplant Games in 2015, which is being held in Argentina.
“I was really thrilled,” she said. “If I can maintain or improve my standards over the next year, I might be in with a chance for Argentina.”
Medcroft, who competes over various distances and has run in two marathons, says it is a pleasure to compete with others who have had transplants.
“All of us have received life-saving transplants, we are very fortunate, and we are celebrating the gifts our donors gave us by competing,” said Medcroft.
“It is wonderful to have the opportunity to hear their stories.
“I’m 35 now, and I have much more energy and vitality than I did at 25.”
To find out more about organ donation visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk/how_to_become_a_donor/registration/consent.asp For more information on the British Transplant Games go to www.britishtransplantgames.co.uk
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