This week Oxford will host the European Transplant and Dialysis Games, the first time that the event is being held in the UK.

Competitors will take part in sports ranging from tennis and football to athletics, squash, and swimming using the facilities at Radley College, which will act as an athletes' village for the week.

The summer event is expected to attract over 400 organ transplant recipients and kidney dialysis patients from over 25 countries across Europe.

Singer-songwriter Adam Isaac, who is currently on dialysis after he was found to have unexpected kidney failure two years ago, performed two of his latest tracks at the opening ceremony.

Adam, from Oxford, was on TV's The Voice in 2012 and made his latest album while battling life-threatening Berger’s Disease.

He found out he had advanced kidney failure in 2020 and for the majority of the last 12 months has been on dialysis three times a week.

He is hoping to receive a transplant from a live donor later this year.

He has written multiple songs about his experience of dialysis and organ donation.

Marching On, which he performed at the opening ceremony, was inspired by his experience of battling critical illness and his wish to show people that there is life outside dialysis.

Maksym, 29, was rescued from the dangers of Ukraine by the Oxford Transplant Group.

He was on haemodialysis in Kyiv for three years after his kidney transplant failed.

After war broke out he and his wife and seven-year-old daughter spent two weeks living in a basement.

In mid-March the hospital told him they only had two weeks of dialysis supplies left.

The family drove to the Polish border but he was told due to his age he had to remain in Ukraine.

It was only after going to Lviv for dialysis that he was able to get a certificate to say that he was disabled and could cross to Poland.

The Polish Transplant Sports Federation and a crowdfunding campaign in the UK supported him in a hotel for three weeks.

The Oxford Transplant Centre and the team at Radley College eventually organised for the family to travel to Oxford to live and continue dialysis, finding them a host family in David and Maria.

Now Makym has dialysis three times a week and will soon be on the UK transplant list.

The family will be representing Ukraine at the games.

Mike Oliver was diagnosed with the hereditary condition polycystic kidney disease, where cysts develop in the kidneys and as they grow larger, the kidneys struggle to work properly until, eventually, they cannot function at all.

In 2015, he received a kidney transplant after two years on the waiting list, and will be competing in the cycle event at Blenheim Palace.

Mr Oliver, 59, who lives in Witney with his wife Gill, said: “I’ve been a cyclist since I was 15 and it’s a sport that I’ve always enjoyed – I was a professional cyclist in the 80s and also took part in the Tour of Britain then.

“When I was diagnosed with kidney disease and had to go on dialysis, it was a big shock to the system.”

Mr Oliver’s condition is what is known as a ‘late-onset’ one, meaning it’s likely you’d go through life with no symptoms until you hit your 40s or 50s.

The renal team at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford had been closely monitoring his health and were able to pinpoint when he would reach what is known as ‘end-stage renal failure’.

He said that competing in the games in Oxford will be a way to celebrate and honour the transplant he was lucky to receive.

Mr Oliver took part in the 2016 British Transplant Games for the first time and since then has been competing almost every year.

He said: “With the European games coming to Oxford, this was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. It’s going to be interesting as the course is quite up and down and I’ve never really been that good at going up-hill.

“The competition is going to be very strong and I’ve been training like mad for the past four weeks.

“It’s an opportunity to say ‘look, after your transplant you can live a normal life, an active life’ - I received my transplant from a donor and I don’t know who that person was, but I feel it’s important to honour their donation and make the most of it.”



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