MEDIA RELEASE: ‘Fit for Life!’ continues to grow with new ambassadors being appointed

The new Fit for Life! initiative continues to grow as the World Transplant Games Federation announces newly appointed Fit for Life! ambassadors.

President of the World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF), Mr Chris Thomas, today(Friday, 5 May 2017) announced the new names of the transplant recipientswho will join our panel of Fit for Life ambassadors focussed on promoting active lifestyle post transplant.

The World Transplant Games Federation announced in August last year the creation of the Fit for Life!’ global initiative, to help transplant recipients re-engage in physical activity and organized sport.

The initiative, proudly supported by Astellas Pharma Inc, has the dual role of helping inspire all transplant recipients to lead active lives post-transplant and to demonstrate to the global public the importance of organ and tissue donation.

In October 2016, the WTGF announced 13 ambassadors who would kick off the Fit for Life! Ambassador program. These ambassadors have done an oustanding job in promoting the vision of Fit for Life! and building on our goal as we strive towards “more transplant recipients, more active, more often”.

Phase Two of the apointments focussed on the WTGF interacting closely with our member countries to make joint appointments led by their guidance and input. As a result we see the addition of 9 new amabassadors taking our total amount of Fit for Life! ambassadors to 22 and representing 14 different countries. Of these 9 appointments, 2 ambassadors are from new countries who have appealed to appoint their own Fit for Life! ambassadors as they join us in reaching our objectives. The remaining 7 ambassadors are from countries who already had an active Fit for Life! ambassador and desired to increase the reach within their country.

“The Fit For Life! ambassador program has had resounding success so far as our ambassadors have been interacting with communities through talks and presentations, outreaches, social media engagement and press conferences.” Chris Thomas said “As we continue to grow this initiative, we encourage our member countries to interact with us regarding the appointment of their own Fit for Life! ambassadors. We will continue to appoint ambassadors at various stages throughout the year. Our ambassadors have a special role to play and their commitment has succeeded in promoting active lifestyle post transplant and guiding others to take their first steps towards a healthier and more active lifestyle. They have all been an inspiration towards the public in encouraging the discussion of organ and tissue donation.” Mr Thomas concluded.

These appointments will also be for a period of two years. The WTGF will continue to work closely with its member country organisations to grow Fit for Life! as an initiative complementing the work of the WTGF with the staging of the World Summer and Winter Transplant Games. As a member country, should you wish to appoint a Fit for Life! ambassador, we encourage to contact us at fitforlife@wtgf.org

About the World Transplant Games Federation

The World Transplant Games Federation unites transplant recipients from across the world to promote the success of organ and tissue donation and life-saving transplantation. With more than 70 member countries, the WTGF stages the world’s largest awareness event for transplantation, the Summer World Games, to inspire the public to consider organ and tissue donation. The WTGF also inspires recipients to rehabilitate following their transplant and keep fit and healthy in their ongoing journey.

Contacts:

World Transplant Games Federation
Kim Renyard, Executive Manager
+27-84-505-5049
kim.renyard@wtgf.org

Alexandre Humeau – Toulouse, France

Age 25 | Liver Recipient

“My aim is to make people speak about this subject, to answer questions, and to prove that’s it’s more than saving a life. Powered by the gift of life is my motto”

Lara Beekman – Switzerland

Age 44 | Liver Recipient

“I would love to inspire transplant patients to make sport part of their daily lives. Speaking 4 languages makes it easier to communicate with all kinds of people and share this important message.”

Pablo Garcia – Bogota, Colombia

Age 29 | Kidney Recipient

“I always start my training by feeling my kidney, and using the the strength of the donor that lives within me.”

Heilie Uys – Cape St Francis, South Africa

Age 64 | Kidney Recipient

“Physical activity is not just a selected option but part of my daily living.”

Hermann Steyn – Cape Town, South Africa

Age 66 | Heart Recipient

“My transplant has given me a renewed appreciation for my body, my life and also helped to shift my perspective. I am now living a full life again.”

Henk Goris – Durban, South Africa

Age 26 | Kidney Recipient

“4 Hours now has an absolute new meaning for me. From not moving an inch at a dialysis session, it is now possible for me to cover 100 kilometres in the same amount of time using my own strength.”

Jennifer Dicker – Victoria, Australia

Age 49 | Liver Recipient

“I realised it would be easy to remain inactive and I would need to put in real effort. With determination and intensive physiotherapy, I managed to re-build muscle strength, bone density and regain the ability to walk.”

Linda Petrovski – Victoria, Australia

Age 50 | Kidney Recipient

“I believe that becoming fit and healthy through regular exercise and nutritious eating has ultimately saved my life. My passion now is to give back by being the best I can be and leading by example.”

Peter Champion– NSW, Australia

Age 58 | Liver Recipient

“I remember when I asked my Physician what is the best thing that I can do to prepare for my transplant? He answered, “be positive and keep fit” and so I did. I took it easy but still I would ride whenever I could. Diet and exercise is my mantra and is what I preach to everyone.”