17-year-old wins four gold medals at World Transplant Winter Games after overcoming leukaemia
- Cameron McGregor-Ogden won four gold medals in ski events at World Transplant Winter Games in Anzere, Switzerland
- Sporting success comes three years after he was diagnosed with leukaemia and given six months to live
- His sister Holly, 15, was 100% match for life-saving needed bone marrow transplant
- Cameron also received the Outstanding Athlete of the Games Award
A 17-year-old from the North West has won four gold medals at the World Transplant Winter Games after having overcome leukaemia following a successful bone marrow transplant
Cameron McGregor-Ogden, from Hartford near Northwich, competed in ski racing events as a member of Team Great Britain at the Games in Anzere, Switzerland.
“It has been a great honour to compete in this international event as part of Team GB,” Cameron said.
“While the games are about sporting endeavour, they are more importantly a celebration of life and an opportunity to express our thanks to our donors and donor families.”
His sporting success comes three years after he was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2013. He needed a bone marrow transplant, but he did not respond well to treatment and was given six months to live.
Thankfully, his sister Holly, 15, turned out to be a 100% match for Cameron. Without the transplant, he would not have survived.
Following the transplant, Cameron took up badminton to help him breathe deeply for lung physiotherapy.
He was already a successful ski racer, having been up for selection for the British squad.
Cameron won a bronze in the British Transplant Games the following year for badminton.
His talents were witnesses on the world stage when he won gold in the singles and silver in the men’s doubles at the World Transplant Games, held in Malaga last summer.
We really didn’t know whether Cameron would survive or not
During the closing ceremony of this year’s World Transplant Winter Games, Cameron also received the Outstanding Athlete of the Games Award, awarded for a combination of sporting success and sportsmanship.
Cameron’s mum Sue said: “In 2014 we really didn’t know whether Cameron would survive or not, so seeing him compete successfully in these really physically challenging events is fantastic.
“When he received the Outstanding Athlete award I definitely had a proud tear or two in my eyes.”
Cameron’s attenton is now on 2019 when he hopes to compete in badminton when the Games are hosted in Newcastle and Gateshead.
The Winter Transplant Games gives transplant athletes a chance to enjoy their new lease of life and demonstrate the benefits of organ donation.
In the UK, more than 6,000 people are on the transplant waiting list, with three people dying every day waiting for a suitable donor.
Only 32% of people in the UK are registered as organ donors. While the NHS carries out a consultation on an opt-out organ donation system, the family still have final say. 40% of potential donor families do not currently consent to organ donation.
Lynne Holt, team manager at Transplant Sport, said: “Hopefully, this international event will encourage others to sign on to the organ donor register, but most importantly, discuss their final wishes now with their families.”
To register for organ donation, and for more information, go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk, or contact the NHS organ donor line: 0300 1232323