Belfast Telegraph

Friday 22 August 2014

Fundraising quiz aims to get Marie to World Transplant Games

Medal winning athlete Marie Devine is back in training for her next challenge - gold at the World Transplant Games in South Africa in 2013.

The restaurant manager from Bangor already has an impressive collection of awards after picking up three gold and one silver medal at the National Transplant Games in August 2012.

Just nine years ago the 47-year-old was diagnosed with unspecified kidney disease which left her needing a kidney transplant. She was put onto the transplant list and began a regime of overnight dialysis sessions which would continue for seven years until she received her new kidney.

"I will be forever grateful to the family of the donor because they have given me a new lease of life," she said.

Keen to make the most of her new-found energy, Marie took up a friend's challenge to compete in the RunHer race for charity two years ago: "I'd never run in my life but it was only a three mile thing, so we started to go out and try to do a bit of running and train for it. We did the race and I just absolutely loved it."

Now a member of North Down Athletics Club in Bangor, Marie takes any opportunity she can to get her trainers on and hit the road: "I ran The Hoover Dam while I was in Las Vegas last year and was delighted to do so well in the National Games in Kent," she says.

"It is an honour to be invited to run for the UK in the Olympics in Durban."

The first World Transplant Games was held in England in 1978. In 2011 Sweden played host to 50 countries with almost 1,900 participant athletes, support persons, donors and donor family members taking part.

Fund-raising for the Donor Organ Register awareness campaign and Marie's Transplant Games trip is underway and a Quiz Night will be held in Coyle's restaurant, High Street, Bangor, where she works, on October 9. For further information or donations email mariethecat@yahoo.co.uk

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