Jordanstown golfer John (79) is going for gold at World Transplant Games

They say age is only a number and that couldn't be truer for 79-year-old kidney transplant recipient John McAleer. He tells Nikki McKeown his transplant story as he prepares to represent Ireland in the World Transplant Games
John McAleer from Jordanstown, Co Antrim, the most senior member of the Irish team heading to the World Transplant Games, gets some support from Kilkenny Hurling All Star Michael Fennelly
GOLFER and kidney transplant recipient John McAleer is on course for his debut at the World Transplant Games in Spain this week – at the tender age of 79.

The most senior member of the Transplant Team Ireland, Jordanstown resident John will be competing in the Golf singles and Golf Team event at this year's games, which start in Malaga on Sunday, his mission to bring home gold and at the same time raise awareness for the importance of organ donation.

Although this will be the retired Ulster University Lecturer's first World Games, he has a proven track record as a high-level athlete with the Irish Transplant Team, having competed in the European Transplant and Dialysis games in both Dublin and Zagreb as a dialysis athlete and then in Poland and Vantaa, Finland, as a transplant recipient. His medal haul from those outings amount to a gold, two silvers and two bronzes.

John is one of 29 athletes from all over Ireland who will fly out to represent their country and showcase the amazing success of organ donation on Saturday.

He was playing golf on his home course in Belfast three years ago when he received a call for a life-changing kidney transplant at the City Hospital. The call came 15 years after he was diagnosed with failing kidneys. Continue reading

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