I was 13 years old in East London, when I started with what we all thought was a common cold, & it turned out to be anything but that. I had severe flu-like symptoms, with vomiting, & also blood in my urine. After extensive tests, & ruling out bladder cancer that they thought it was; I had a kidney
biopsy, & was diagnosed with Chronic Glomerular Nephritis in June 1987.
I was put on strong doses of Cortisone for a few months, & then actually felt fine yet I knew I was sick. I went through the next 4 years of high school as a loner, because I knew I was sick. When I left home for the first time to go & study, everything was normal, because no-one knew of my illness, & I could be like everyone else.
When I started working in Bloemfontein in 1992, my illness flared up again. Routine bloods followed, which continued when I move back to East London in 1995, where I met my husband.
In 1997 I was diagnosed with high BP & commenced treatment, so the blood monitoring became more frequent at that point. We got married in Oct 1998, & although we were very happy, we knew we had a tough battle ahead of us. My health was slowly deteriorating, & in 2007 I got food poisoning. A week later I had experienced my first dialysis session at the age of 35 years, a truly terrifying experience but something that made me grow, more than I could ever imagine.
After having my family tested to donate, & this being unsuccessful, the long wait began of being on the transplant list. Then 6 month later my sister in law offered to be tested to donate, which was successful and on the 12th Feb 2008 I received my new lease on life – my second chance. To her I am always grateful.
I joined the South African Transplant Sports Association (SATSA) in 2008 and qualified at the National Transplant Games in lawn bowls that year, for inclusion in the National Team to participate in the World Transplant Games (WTG) in Australia in 2009.
What an experience! Not only was it my first visit to Australia and my first World Games, but I also won my first gold medal in Lawn bowls. I also participated in WTG 2011 in Sweden and due to the fact that lawn bowls was not included in the list of sports items presented, I played ten pin bowling.
I am going to participate in the WTG 2013 in lawn bowls, ten pin bowling and the 3km race walk. I personally want to welcome all participants to the Games and know that they will enjoy the warmth, friendliness and excitement that only Africa can offer