Suretha Maartens

Suretha Maartens – Mpumalanga, South Africa

Age 29  |  Kidney Recipient

Suretha Maartens received a kidney transplant in 2011, after living a perfectly healthy and active life. After her transplant she was reluctant to become part of a transplant sport organization for the fear that she would be seen as different and somewhat scarred. After some persuasion from her transplant doctor, she decided to train for and participate in the 2012 SATSA National games, where she walked away with 3 first places and records broken, in her first games ever. Since then, the inspiration to stay fit and active has grown. She has now taken part in 2 World Games for which she has won several medals. Suretha believes being “Fit for Life” requires so much more from a person than just being able to run a few miles, or throw a ball.

“For these are not the greatest challenges that transplanted people face.” Suretha believes you have to train your mind and soul to be acceptant, tolerant and ambitious towards the challenges life throws at you.

“Life is not always kind towards people who are different; you therefore need to be the one who has empathy towards the burdens people carry, even if you perceive them as smaller than your own. You need to have the ambition and the courage to know that the hand full of pills you take today is the first obstacle you will have to overcome, but also to have the knowledge to know that you have already overcome far more than the small things that life is throwing at you now.”

To Suretha, being “Fit for Life” is being an example of how to be grateful and showing others how to be excited about life and all the wonderful things and opportunities it has to offer. “I pray, laugh, train my mind, train my body and life each and every day as any other person, but within myself I know I am living harder, stronger and happier because I know I have received a second change, and I decided to make it AWESOME! “