Doctors, nurses and transplant patients promoting organ donation

A team of doctors, nurses and transplant patients have signed up for this year’s round-the-world Clipper race to promote organ donation.

12 Britons, including two kidney transplant patients, a liver transplant patient and a double lung transplant recipient, hope the race will reduce the national shortage of organs for transplantation by showing the potential donations have to transform lives.

The project is being led by Stephen Wigmore, professor of transplantation surgery and the clinical lead for transplantation at the University of Edinburgh.

He said: ‘It’s quite daunting, but it’s very exciting at the same time. The whole purpose of doing this is to demonstrate the amazing potential that transplants have.

‘This race is the toughest challenge in team sailing and we hope people will find what we’re doing to be inspirational and we’re looking to try and get people to sign up to the organ donor register.

‘A lot of media coverage around organ donation, including what the government puts out, is quite consequence-based. It’s all about what would happen if you didn’t donate your kidneys to this person.

‘We wanted to send out a really positive message so that people could see that if a patient who was really sick gets a transplant, they don’t just get a little bit better, it completely transforms their life and they’re able to do amazing things like sail around the world.’

The Clipper Round-the-World Race begins in August from the UK and it will cover 40,000 miles before returning in July 2012, having visited 15 countries.

The team of ‘transplant ambassadors’ will each sail a leg with Professor Wigmore sailing from Qingdao, China to San Francisco, USA in March 2012.

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