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174 people in Northern Ireland waiting for a transplant

By Lisa Smyth

There are 174 people in Northern Ireland currently on the transplant waiting list for a new kidney.

A further 75 people who need a new kidney have been temporarily removed from the list because they are too ill to undergo the operation or are away from here.

Latest figures show that 42 people have died since April 2006 while waiting for a kidney — more than half the total of 78 people on the transplant waiting list who died before they received a life-saving operation.

In 2009/10 a record 3,709 lives were transformed by a transplant, but Northern Ireland is lagging behind the rest of the UK when it comes to signing up to the NHS Organ Donor Register.

The Belfast Telegraph has teamed up with Transplant Sport UK (TSUK) and is calling on people across the province to help save lives by signing up to the Organ Donor Register.

There are currently 300 people in Northern Ireland waiting for an organ — eight of them children.

In August, TSUK will bring 1,800 participants to Belfast for the Westfield Health British Transplant Games.

The aim is to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by people waiting for an organ.

More than 800 people who have had a transplant will take part in 18 sporting activities at locations in and around Belfast.

In order to raise vital funds for the games, the charity is also asking people to take part in the Belfast City Marathon in May.

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