A TENNIS player who was given the gift of life by three family members is urging people to sign up to the organ donor register.
Andy Knox, who has had kidney transplants from both of his parents and now his sister, will be in charge of the tennis tournament at this year’s Westfield Health British Transplant Games in Bolton.
Mr Knox, aged 42, won the lottery in 1998, but two weeks later he found he had renal failure and would need a kidney transplant.
The dad-of-one said: “In the space of two weeks I had gone from being on top of the world to being told I had six months to live.
“But I was lucky because my mum and dad were both matches for me. That’s very rare and I will always be thankful to them for what they have done.”
Mr Knox had his first kidney transplant from his mum Teresa that year followed by another from his dad in 2006.
In September, Mr Knox’s kidney stopped working and he faced the task of finding another donor.
This time it was his sister Helen who stepped up to donate her healthy kidney and last month doctors carried out the life-changing procedure.
“It’s a very emotional thing when someone donates an organ to you, and all the more so when you know who it is,” said Mr Knox.
His sister, Miss Knox, aged 33, added: “We’re a very close family and I always knew that if he needed me to donate my kidney, I would.”
Mr Knox first discovered his tennis talent in 2002 and went on to play in the World Transplant Games.
He said: “The games are a way for people like me to show everyone that since having a transplant, we have not just sat at home and rested on our laurels.
“It shows that we want to make the most of what we’ve been given. I would urge anyone who has had a transplant to get involved and anyone who is not signed up to the organ donor register.”
Registration for the games closes on Friday, May 16.
The Bolton News launched its campaign to get 5,000 people to sign up to the Organ Donor Register on January 27.
There are more than 60 people in Bolton who rely on drugs and medical intervention to keep them alive until a suitable organ match can be found.
There are currently more than 67,000 people from Bolton on the register — but we want thousands more to sign up.
To Sign Up To Save Lives, go to the NHS organ donor register at organdonation.nhs.uk, call 0300 1232323 or text SAVE to 62323.