A trainee accountant, who had lifesaving surgery as a teenager, is among hundreds of athletes preparing for the British Transplant Games this month.
Jonathan Bowman, of Cleckheaton, is training hard for the annual tournament which will see him compete in the 1,500 metres, darts, long jump and walking race.
The 24-year-old had a kidney transplant at 15, having first suffered kidney failure after contracting E coli when he was four.
Mr Bowman, who will be competing for the sixth time, said the transplant, which saw him receive a kidney from his mother, transformed his life.
He said: “Before the transplant I was very tired and I was dependent on a lot of things. I had to take a lot of medication and have regular hospital appointments and each week I was getting more and more tired.
“My blood was getting poisoned because my kidneys weren’t working and after the transplant I immediately felt a lot better despite having had the surgery. I had more energy. I go to the gym a lot and do things that would have been very difficult before.”
This year’s competition, which runs from August 19 to 22 in Bath, will involve more than 700 participants and see a record number of transplant athletes competing for the first time.
Mr Bowman, who has come away with gold, silver and bronze medals from previous competitions, said: “It’s interesting going around the country and meeting other people who have had transplants and it shows what a transplant can bring to someone’s life.”
Lynne Holt, of Transplant Sport UK, said: “We are delighted to see more people taking part in the games for the first time and wish them all the best of luck. These athletes should be an inspiration to people, as they grab their second chance at life with both hands, clearly demonstrating how well they are, after recovering from their life-saving transplant.
“The aim of the games is to inspire people to sign the NHS Donor Register and give the gift of life. It only takes a minute to sign, but can give someone a whole lifetime to enjoy.”
Last month, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust set up an organ donation committee to try and increase awareness of transplantation and to boost the number of donors. Only seven donations of major organs have been made at Bradford hospitals since 2005.
For information, visit organdonation. nhs.uk, or call 0300 1232323.