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Old Wed Sep 9, 2015, 05:51 PM
squirrellypoo squirrellypoo is offline
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: London, UK
Posts: 458
From transplant to World Record in 6 years!

I haven't been here in a while but I wanted to share my good news so that it might give others hope that you can return to a healthy, full life after a transplant, too.

Two weeks ago I competed in the World Transplant Games in Mar del Plata, Argentina for Team GB (I grew up in America but moved to London 13 years ago and I had my transplant here in 2009). The Games are for athletes of all ages who have had an organ or bone marrow transplant from a donor, and 1100 of us from 44 countries took part, competing in a wide range of events.

I was a runner before my transplant, but afterwards, I worked really hard to slowly become much stronger, faster, and fitter than ever before, eventually having completed 5 marathons post-transplant (including 2 Boston Qualifiers). In the Games I competed in the longest they offer - the 5km road race, and on the track, the 1500m, 800m, and 400m. Track stuff is so brutally short and fast for me, so my coach and I have worked ridiculously hard over the past 8 months training for this!

And it paid off - I performed better than in my wildest dreams, coming home with a total of 6 gold medals!! Four individual and two team, including a new WORLD RECORD in the 1500m, and a World's Best time in the 5km, beating women literally half my age in every single event.

But the best thing about the Games was the camraderie with other transplant athletes from all around the globe, and knowing that each and every one of us was only there thanks to the generosity of our donors. Transplant athletes are some of the nicest and most resilient people you'll ever meet, and I feel so proud to have been a part of Team GB.

If you're interested in more details of my individual events, I posted more about the 5km road race here and the track events here.

The next World Transplant Games are in Malaga, Spain in July 2017, and I really, really hope that I'll see some of you there!!
36/F - 1984 SAA treated with ATG [complete remission until] Oct 08 - burst blood vessels in eyes and low platelets; Jan 09 - AA & hypo-MDS; July 09 - BMT (RIC MUD PSCT) July 10 - 10k for Anthony Nolan (1yr post BMT! 53:48) Sep 10 - Wedding! I've run 5 marathons now!! (PB 3:30!)
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Old Thu Sep 10, 2015, 12:58 AM
Cheryl C Cheryl C is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Lake Macquarie, Australia
Posts: 838
Fantastic Squirrelypoo! Well done.
Dx MDS RAEB 10% blasts + hypogammaglobulinemia, Sep 2011. Jan 2012 BMB - blasts down to 2% w/out treatment so BMT cancelled. Re-diagnosis RCMD. Watch and wait from Feb 2012. IVIg 5-weekly. New diagnosis Oct 2019 AML 23% blasts in marrow, 10% blasts in peripheral blood.
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Old Thu Sep 10, 2015, 04:54 AM
DanL DanL is offline
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 584
What an inspiration you are and have been over the years! Congratulations on your accomplishments as a runner and a survivor. Thank you for sharing as it gives me hope that I will return to normal and be able to excel in the coming months.

You are amazing!
MDS RCMD w/grade 2-3 fibrosis. Allo-MUD Feb 26, 2014. Relapsed August 2014. Free and clear of MDS since November 2014 after treatment with Vidaza and Rituxan. Experiencing autoimmune attack on CNS thought to be GVHD, some gut, skin and ocular cGVHD. Neuropathy over 80% of body.
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Old Sun Sep 13, 2015, 11:07 AM
traceyn11 traceyn11 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 142
Congratulations Squirrellypoo! What an accomplishment!
Tracey, mom & wife,age 58, dx MDS RAEB-2 4/15, normal cytogenetics, Update: SCT cancelled. Blasts at 67%. New dx AML.
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Old Sat Sep 26, 2015, 05:56 PM
curlygirl curlygirl is offline
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 151
That is great news, squirrellypoo! I am so excited for you! Also, it is nice to put a face with the username! Congratulations!
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