The World Transplant Games – Australia 2009
In 2009 Ben Pacey, a swimmer taught at Edlington Amateur Swimming club from the age of 5 years old, represented Great Britain in the World Transplant Games held in Australia.
The World Transplant Games are the Olympics for people who have had an organ/bone marrow transplant. In Ben’s case it was a bone marrow transplant. He was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia when he was 17 and was told that without a bone marrow transplant he would possibly only have 5 years to live. The Anthony Nolan register finds people that have compatible bone marrow and because of this charity he was able to have a transplant. Ben had the most rigorous of treatments, he had total body irradiation. This is a week of chemotherapy followed by a week of radiotherapy and then more chemotherapy followed by the bone marrow infusion and finally 8 weeks in total isolation. If he had caught so much as a common cold during this treatment it would probably have killed him.
Ben is doing well since he had his transplant and it was during one of his check ups with his Consultant that he was asked to represent Sheffield at the Transplant Games held at Ponds Forge. He swam the 50 metres backstroke and won a gold medal. He was a couple of seconds off the world record in these games.
In Australia Ben won 7 world championship medals and 3 world records. He is now part of the Great Britain Transplant team.