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Gold medalist aims to repeat British Transplant Games success

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 06, 2014

By Helen Kreft

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A HOSPITAL radio volunteer is hoping to repeat her gold medal success when she competes in the British Transplant Games for the second time.

Jo Hopkins already has a gold medal for archery and achieved third place for a 3km speed walk when she took part in last year's games in Sheffield with thousands of other people who have received transplants.

Once again, the 57-year-old is competing with her team from the Royal Derby Hospital, which hopes to beat last year's haul of one gold, one silver and two bronze medals.

After winning gold in the sport last year, Jo will be taking on archery again and is this year opting for javelin instead of speed walking.

Eight years ago, Mrs Hopkins, from Kings Bromley, was given a kidney transplant after four years on the waiting list.

The mother of two was born with a condition inherited from her father's side of the family.

She said: "My grandfather died from it and my father died when he was just 32. They did tests on the family and I found out I had the condition as well."

Jo suffers with polycystic kidney disease where her kidneys are gradually replaced by cysts growing through the tissue, causing the organs to grow and become non-functioning.

She has previously received dialysis which required her to be hooked up to a machine three times a week for four hours at a time.

Mrs Hopkins has taken part in the games to raise awareness of transplants and as a way of urging people to become donors.

Jo has follow-up treatment as Royal Derby Hospital's renal unit which emailed its transplant patients to ask them to take part in the games.

She said: "If you are thinking about registering (as an organ donor) just please do so. It is an invaluable gift for so many people.

The games take place in Bolton from tomorrow until Sunday.

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