Three golds for Warwick athlete at European Transplant Games

Simon Perkin with his three gold and one silver medals from the European Transplant Games
Simon Perkin with his three gold and one silver medals from the European Transplant Games

A Warwick athlete who survived a bone marrow transplant has returned from the European Transplant Games with three gold medals.

Simon Perkin was diagnosed with blood cancer in 1991 when he was just 26 years old.

Health problems over many years meant Simon underwent a bone marrow transplant in 2012 - and since then, Simon’s health has recovered.

A keen runner, Simon was selected to compete for Team GB in the European Transplant Games, held in Sardinia from Sunday June 17 to Sunday June 24.

He won golds in the 800 metres, 1,500 metres and the 5km road race.

And Simon was also able to bag a silver medal in the men’s doubles in the tennis competition.

He said: “I am so grateful to be alive. It was wonderful meeting such amazing athletes from so many countries.

“The real heroes, however, are the donors themselves’.”

Simon is no stranger to competing after his bone marrow transplant.

He ran last weekend’s Leamington Half Marathon in a time of one hour and 39 minutes - despite the searing heat and Simon opting to dress as a crocodile.

He has also taken part in the World Transplant Games, and was one of seven transplant athletes who ran in Great Birmingham 10km race in May.

Simon’s efforts in Sardinia contributed to Team GB’s overall haul of 165 medals - including 67 golds.

Lynne Holt, GB Team Manager, from the UK charity Transplant Sport, said: “Many of our transplant athletes have experienced near death situations and long illness, and it is very gratifying to see them able to enjoy a full life thanks to organ donation.

“The true champions are those individuals that gave the gift of life, offering all these athletes their second chance to live.”