WHEN the British Transplant Games comes to Bolton this summer, The Bolton News Donor Run will have special significance for the families of those who have given the gift of life.
The games, which are taking place from August 7 to 9 will celebrate what can be achieved through organ donation as 1,000 athletes who have benefited from transplants compete in events ranging from football to ten pin bowling at a variety of venues across the borough.
But there will be a chance to remember those people generous enough to donate the organs which have allowed others to prosper in a special organ donor run on the Saturday of the games.
The Bolton news Donor Run, which will start at Leverhulme Park and last either three or five kilometres depending on preference, is open to anyone and will see transplant athletes running alongside their families as well as featuring the family members of people who donated organs after their death.
One family who will be competing is the Kerrs, with transplant recipient Natalie running alongside her mum, dad and children Brandon and Isabelle.
Miss Kerr, who had a life saving double-lung transplant in 2012, said: “When my kids are running in the donor run they are going to be wearing T-shirts that say ‘thank you for my mummy’s lungs’.
“I think about my donor each and every day because everything I do is because of her. I know she will be looking down on us. I hope this event will raise more awareness about organ donation and recognise those people who have donated an organ.”
Natalie’s father, Eric Kerr, who lives in Breightmet with his wife Christine, added: “We always remember Natalie’s donor and appreciate what she did for our daughter, she gave her the gift of life.”
A number of organ donors — including Bolton News reporter Liam Thorp — will also take part in the race.
Liam underwent surgery last year to donate bone marrow to a gravely ill youngster.
Joining him on the route, which will begin at 6pm on Saturday, August 9, will be the chairman of transplant sport, Andrew Eddy, who had a liver transplant five years ago.
He said: “This run will help to remember those people who have donated the ultimate gift and for some it will be a chance to thank their families.
“It is always an amazing atmosphere as those who have been saved by a transplant run alongside the families of people whose donation has saved a life.”