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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > Renal patient heads to British Transplant Games

Renal patient heads to British Transplant Games

Posted on Thursday 9th July 2015
Ian Blenkinsopp

A patient at the Cumberland Infirmary is heading to the British Transplant Games later this summer, marking an incredible return to fitness following a double kidney transplant in 2013.

Ian Blenkinsopp, 52, of Carlisle, has been a regular patient in the hospital’s renal unit since being diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease at the age of 18. The condition meant Ian had cysts growing on and in his kidneys, which would eventually cause his kidneys to fail.

After nearly two years on the donor waiting list and almost a year of renal dialysis, Ian underwent a double kidney transplant in October 2013. He explained the difference it has made to his quality of life. “I was on peritoneal dialysis, where you have a tube into your stomach and four exchanges a day, which used to make me very tired,” he said. “After the transplant, I began to feel better within a few of days.”

Ian decided to enter the 800 metres at the British Transplant Games after attending the event as a spectator last year. “I had started running to get my fitness up and I wanted a challenge, and this certainly seemed like a challenge!” he added.

The Games have been held annually since 1978 in cities across the UK and take place this year in Gateshead from 30 July to 2 August. The aim of the Games is to demonstrate the benefits of transplantation whilst increasing public awareness of the need for more people to join the NHS Organ Donation Register and discuss their wishes with their families.

Dr Fiona Dallas, renal consultant at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “It is wonderful when someone does so well after a transplant. It can completely change their lives. We are so impressed with Ian’s recovery and now his participation in the British Transplant Games. We wish him well.”

To find out more about organ donation, visit