WINCHESTER schoolgirl Elspeth French has taken a trophy for best child competitor in her age group at the 2012 British Transplant Games.
In 2004, Elspeth, aged nine, was diagnosed with a rare liver tumour and underwent a life-saving transplant at King’s College Hospital in London.
The operation was successful, and eight years on, the Sparsholt Primary School pupil from Littleton is a keen sports girl, with an interest in swimming and tennis, and will be joining an athletic club in September.
The talented youngster has won a string of successes, including gold medals in the 50m sprint, 25m breaststroke swim and badminton events.
She added a further two gold medals in the obstacle course and ball throw whilst still finding the energy to complete the three-kilometre organ donor run.
Elspeth said: “I was very happy to win. The 50 metres is my favourite and I love running at school. I like swimming too after school at the leisure centre. My mummy is very proud of me.”
Her mother, Jackie, said: “Elspeth did exceptionally well at only her second Transplant Games, coming home with the silver cup for best child in the nine to eleven years category.
“A lot of the other children were in the older spectrum of the group and she beat all of them. She is such an incredible girl who has overcome so much and we are thrilled that she has done so well.”
She added: “The Games provide a special opportunity for families who have been affected by transplantation to share their life changing experiences and give those who have undergone a transplant an uplifting and positive experience to take home.”
The two-day event, organized by charity Transplant Sport UK which aims to demonstrate what can be achieved by those who have undergone a transplant, took place on Thursday, August 23 in Medway, Kent.
Over 1,000 spectators attended, with around 600 athletes from across Britain aged two to 80 competing in the Games.
Andy Eddy, chairman of Transport Sport UK said: “It’s important to remember that none of these transplant recipient athletes would be here without a life-saving transplant operation.
“Added to this, they have a strength of spirit and determination that should be an inspiration to us all.”
He added: “The British Transplant Games give organ recipients a chance to celebrate their second chance and thank the organ donors and their families.” The charity also hopes to promote organ donation, with more than 10,000 people in the UK waiting for a transplant.