By Jordan Cross
Nicole Mackenzie is aiming to conquer the World Transplant Games – just two years after a double kidney transplant.
The 13-year-old is on the march to the event in Sweden in June after her versatile talents saw her collect a host of medals at the British Games in Bath.
Mackenzie was diagnosed with double kidney failure at the age of three and told she would have to undergo a transplant in her lifetime.
That moment arrived two years ago but the battler from Purbrook has fought back to make a big impression with her athletic prowess and fighting spirit.
Mackenzie collected a gold and two silvers, along with two bronze medals, at the British event in Bath last August.
She shone brightest in the pool – winning gold in the 25m freestyle and silvers in the 25m breaststroke and freestyle relay.
On top of that, Mackenzie won further bronzes in her team’s running relay and tug of war.
It was her swimming quality which really caught the eye, though, and the Purbrook Park student’s success has now seen her link up with Portsmouth Northsea as she readies herself for the Transplant Games in Gothenburg.
Mackenzie has been putting the work in to ensure she is in perfect condition for the Games and is aiming to up that as well as continuing playing football for Widbrook United.
She is hoping to compete in four swimming events – the 50m freestyle, breaststroke, butterfly and backstroke – as well as tenpin bowling at the Games.
Proud mum Julie Mackenzie explained her daughter now needs to raise £3,500 to take part in the competition.
That will allow her to raise awareness of organ donation – a key ethos behind the Games – and make her gutsy dream come true.
The teenage talent’s mum said: ‘We’re very proud of Nicole and what she’s achieved.
‘She was taken ill and diagnosed with kidney failure at a young age.
‘Then she had the transplant but hasn’t let that hold her back.
‘She is making a lot of progress, works hard and her success is spurring her on.
‘Now we have to raise the sponsorship to make sure she takes part in June.’
Mackenzie is planning on undertaking a sponsored swim and walk to raise the much-needed funds to compete in Sweden.
To sponsor her for the events visit justgiving.com/nicole-mackenzie