Community spirit pure gold for transplant athlete
Source: Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard
MEDALS can represent many things: success, excellence and ambition.
For Olivia Steele, 9, her gleaming awards are a sign of hope and community spirit.
The Glendenning youth competed in the 2010 Australian Transplant Games from October 2-10 and came home with six gold and three silver medals for swimming, athletics and tenpin bowling.
But her achievements would not have been possible without the generous support of Mt Druitt-St Marys Standard readers who helped fund her trip.
Born with a rare liver disease which saw her receive an organ transplant eight years ago, Olivia is living proof of the need for organ donors.
In June, the Standard published a story about Olivia’s goal to raise $5000 in order to send her to the games in Canberra.
Mum Lisa Wells said they were humbled by the donations their received, about $5800.
Ms Wells said they would like to thank the community for believing in Olivia and helping out the family.
“I want to thank everyone for donating,” she said.
The more people know about the games, the more organ donations,” Ms Wells said.
She said Olivia enjoyed the nine-day event and made new friends.
“She had the opportunity to meet and mingle with other people who have been in the same situation,” she said.
Olivia originally decided to take part in the games as a tribute to the family of her organ donor.
Half the money that Olivia raised will be donated to Transplant Australia.
The Transplant Games are Australia’s largest awareness event for organ and tissue donation and demonstrate the difference organ donation can make.