In 2008 I was running 30km a week, eating healthy, keeping slim, and planning my wedding. Within a fortnight I couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without losing my breath and in July 2009 I had a bone marrow transplant to cure a rare blood disorder.
Unfortunately, my only
brother was not a match for me, so the Anthony Nolan Trust put out a
worldwide search to find someone with my specific genetics, and a young
man from America donated his stem cells to save my life. After a grueling first 6 months, I was able to return to work and exercise, gradually regaining the fitness I'd had before the illness and chemo... and eventually surpassing "the old me"!
In October 2012 I ran my first full
marathon in Amsterdam, finishing in 3:48. I ran my second in Copenhagen
in May 2013, and after a severe bout of shingles interrupted my
training, I still managed to finish in 3:52. In 2014 I ran the Virgin Money London marathon in 3:30 and the Berlin marathon in 3:46.
I've competed in the past two British Transplant Games, winning gold medals in the Mini Marathon (as well as a trophy for first woman), 1500m, 800m, 400m and silver in the 200m. I'm so proud to have been selected to represent Great Britain at the World Transplant Games in Argentina and I'm hoping to repeat my success on the world stage.
Though the World Transplant Games are an IOC event, funding is very limited so athletes must fundraise to cover the extensive transportation, accommodation and training costs, which is where you come in! I am raising funds to cover my expenses associated with attending the World Transplant Games in Argentina, South America. Any surplus funds will go towards the Transplant Sport UK Management Team (including physios and coaches) who give up their time to support the team.
Melissa's World Transplant Games Argentina 2015
I am representing Great Britain in track & field for Transplant Sport UK because I had a life saving bone marrow transplant
We actively promote organ donation to encourage post transplant well being.