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World Transplant Games: Saved by a stranger from across the Atlantic

  • World Transplant Games: hosted by Newcastle and Gateshead between 17-24 August 2019.

The World Transplant Games are coming to the North East this summer. Celebrated as the second chance of life, the Games demonstrate the success of transplant surgery and promote awareness of organ and tissue donation.

This year 2,237 athletes from 60 countries will be taking part in 15 sports across Tyneside and Wearside. Events include archery, athletics, tennis and even a virtual triathlon. You can find out about the schedule, here.

When Nadia Stock puts on her running shoes to represent Great Britain it will be her first World Games. But not only that, it'll be 16 years to the day she had a bone marrow transplant.

She says she's one of the lucky ones after a stranger from across the Atlantic saved her life. Competing in the World Transplant Games is her way of saying thank you.

Nadia has now completed University and run marathons since her operation Credit: Family photo

Nadia was 21-years-old when she was diagnosed with bone marrow failure - as her body was no longer making its own blood cells. Doctors said, without a transplant, she would die.

Initially, they checked my brother and sister to see if they would be a match for a bone marrow transplant because that would have been a 25% match. Unfortunately, they weren't a match. They checked the UK registry but unfortunately, there wasn't anyone that was suitable.

– Nadia Stock

Because Nadia is Jewish her chances of finding a donor on the register was just 20%.

But fortunately, after a 16-month wait and a worldwide search, a match was found.

Despite living thousands of miles away in Baltimore, USA, the woman who donated bone marrow to Nadia is now one of her closest friends.

Nadia (L) and donor Andrea (R) Credit: Family photo

We stay in touch regularly be email every couple of months and shes a really lovely part of our lives.

I'm just thrilled that i was part of the effort that allowed her to live a really really full life. I mean, that she can be so physically fit and active that she can be a mother. It's one thing to allow someone to keep on living but to allow someone to really live to the fullest extent it's really amazing.

– Andrea Lewinter

Nadia wanted to give something back and started running for Anthony Nolan, the charity that put out the appeal for her donor.

In 2015, while pregnant with daughter Hannah, she took part in her first British Transplant Games in Newcastle. Now she's been selected to help Team GB take on the world.

You can read more about some of the competitors from our region, here:

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