Brendan Hever received a life-saving kidney transplant in 2015, and since then he has worked his way to fitness and his goal of reaching the British Transplant Games in 2018. Read his story, in his own words, below.
“As a young man, I was very active, enjoying sports, scuba diving and travel. My diagnosis of kidney failure in 2005 changed the course of my life entirely, restricting what I could do, where I could go, what I could eat, and what I could drink. As my kidneys deteriorated, I was able to do less, felt worse and my life seemed as grey and colourless as my complexion had become.
“However, I was very fortunate to receive a kidney from my amazing sister in 2015, after a difficult two years on dialysis. I had been inactive and unfit for a few years prior to this, but my journey back to health was greatly helped by sport.
“First it was parkrun, a community initiative anyone can join in on a Saturday morning where I went from walking 5K round the park to eventually running it non-stop in less than a year. I rediscovered my old love of swimming, and free of plastic tubes hanging from me, I donned trunks and goggles in my efforts to get back fit.
“All of this came to a head for me when I discovered Transplant Sport – to meet others who had similar journeys and for whom participation is sport was helping in their recovery was inspirational for me.
“I was privileged to represent Birmingham Adults Transplant Team at the British Transplant Games in 2018, one of the best things I have ever been involved in. To see so many of transplant recipients of all ages coming together in a spirit of celebration, achievement and fun was wonderful.
“Every day I am grateful for this second opportunity at life and sport has helped me make the most of this opportunity.”