Young transplant patients at Southampton Children’s Hospital are raising £9,000 to compete in the British Transplant Games 2024.

The team, known as 'Team Southampton', is made up of 13 children aged five-17 who have all had life-saving treatment at the hospital's specialist nephrology unit.

This vital unit currently attends to 50 kidney transplant recipients.

The 46th annual Games will be held from August 1-4 in Nottingham, expecting the participation of more than 1,000 athletes in more than 25 sporting events ranging from track and field to volleyball.

The cost to send a child and their family members to the games stands at around £2,000, which accounts for their kit, travel, accommodation, and food.

Nine-year-old Kian Channing, who was born with bilateral renal dysplasia, is among the young patients eager to participate this year.

Kian Channing  (Image: Southampton Children’s Hospital)

He won a gold medal at the 2023 Transplant Games and is currently recovering from post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD), a cancer type that can affect those taking immunosuppressant medicines after receiving a transplant.

Kirsty Channing, Mr Channing's mum, said: "We’re hoping Kian is going to be well enough to go again this year as he had such a great time last year and has been really looking forward to it."

Kian Channing and sister Mia  (Image: Southampton Children’s Hospital)

According to her, this opportunity allows children like her son who often struggle to keep up with their peers in sports, to enjoy sports and feel normal.

Sarah Grylls, from Southampton Children’s Hospital, said: "So far, we’ve managed to raise over half of the money required to attend the event, but we just need that last push to get us over the finishing line."

She described the event as a fun and rewarding experience that brings young patients and their families together.

Mattias Carrington, Asher May and Kian Channing   (Image: Southampton Children’s Hospital)

Shuman Haq, who will participate in a charity bike ride from Evelina London Children’s Hospital to Southampton Children’s Hospital, added: "The British Transplant Games provide much needed joy to our transplant kids and their families, bringing some relief from the merry go round of medications, fluid targets and clinic appointments."

The team will use this event to promote the NHS organ donor register and discuss its importance.

The team has raised £16,000 so far, including £5,000 from Kidney Care UK.

To offer your support, visit the Southampton Hospitals Charity website.