Source: Bhutan Observer
For the first time, Bhutan will be represented by Tashi Namgay at the 18th World Transplant Games (WTG), which will be held in Goteborg, Sweden, from July 17 to 24.
The 26-year-old working as a manager at the Chang jiji Youth Centre under the Department of Youth and Sports in Thimphu is a renal allograft recipient (kidney recipient).
The WTG is organised by the World Transplant Games Federation to meet and be inspired by other persons in similar situation and it’s considered a good way of getting well faster. The WTG is organised to motivate organ transplant by stating that they can live a normal life. It also focuses on the transplant situation in different countries.
The World Transplant Games Federation is officially recognised by the International Olympic Committee.
Tashi Namgay will be participating in two track events, 100 metres and 200 metres. He was invited to take part last year during the 17th WTG but he could not go because he had to fund the trip on his own.
“I approached some agencies related to health and sports for fund but everyone said they did not have fund, so I had to decline the offer,” said Tashi.
This year, he got an invitation again and when he explained to the organisers about the funding problem, they agreed to fund his trip. They said they could partially fund one more participant but the participant has to bear the rest, which comes to Nu 50,000.
Tashi approached a few organ recipients but everyone said spending Nu 50,000 was too expensive.
“It is a platform to show that through sports we can live a healthy and normal life,” said Tashi. He has informed the Bhutan Olympic Committee about his travel.
Similarly, the WTG’s purpose is to visibly demonstrate the benefits of successful organ transplantation, to increase public awareness of its success and thereby increase organ donation rates, besides promoting full rehabilitation and well-being of their participants.
According to them, they have achieved 30 percent increase in organ donation rates in countries that have hosted the games.
More than 1,000 transplanted athletes from 50 different countries will participant in this year’s WTG. The competitions consist of 13 different sports such as golf, athletics, mini marathon, badminton, floor ball and cycling in different age categories from six to 70.
Among the participants are people, who have received kidney, liver, heart, lungs or stem cells (bone marrow transplant). Many of the participants have been transplanted with more than one organ and some of them more than once.
Bhutan has more than 90 kidney recipients.
By Tandin Pem