Age 29 | Kidney Recipient
Growing up sport was everything to Matthew, he always dreamed of competing at high level, and played Football and Cricket at a regional level for Manawatu, first XV Rugby at high school and premier grade Rugby league for Victoria University of Wellington.
When his kidneys failed at the age of 22, his dreams were shattered. Dialysis twelve hours a night every night left him with no energy or confidence to play sport. He didn’t miss the higher level of sport but the freedom and social aspects of being involved in a team, club, and sports community. Post-transplant, with a renewed boost of confidence, he slowly began to set new goals. “It is important not to underestimate the implications of being confident enough to be involved in sports and physical activity during and after a serious illness. This makes programs like Fit for Life and the Transplant Games all the more special as they get people involved no
matter their level of skill, experience, fitness, or social status. “ Matthew was unsure how much he could push his body post-transplant. He had many questions with limited definite information available to him.
His journey post-transplant began when he saw an advertisement for the World Transplant Games during a clinic visit. It appealed to him because it seemed a reachable goal that would give him the chance to meet similar people. He was also granted a role to coach a girls 1st Xl Football team, who showed him how fun and enjoyable being part of a team and competition is. Today he focuses on living well, looking after his transplant and inspiring others by competing in the Australian and World Transplant Games. He trains for athletics two-three times a day with sprint trainings, gym work, and recovery sessions. He plays social basketball and football once a week and work in an active job thirty-six hours a week looking after racehorses. “I truly believe there is a place in sport and fitness for everyone.
Being involved makes you feel so much better physically, emotionally and of course brings people together socially.”