A BURTON hospital radio volunteer has been going for gold as part of the British Transplant Games.
Jo Hopkins has triumphed in the national competition which sees thousands of people from across the country, who have had transplants, compete.
As part of the Royal Derby Hospital team, Mrs Hopkins managed bronze in the 3K mile, and came out top with a gold medal in archery during the games which were held in Sheffield.
She said: “The competition opened with a parade by all the participating teams to city hall in Sheffield on Thursday evening where the mayor and an array of dignitaries and sponsors declared the games open with the lighting of the games torch and official handing over from last year’s host city.
“The Royal Derby team’s renal department has entered a team for the first time this year and are all enjoying the fantastic atmosphere, meeting hundreds of fellow transplant patients and their families.
”The athletes, all of whom have received life saving organ transplants, gave an emotional heartfelt cheer with long applause and standing ovation to the families of donors that had come to support the event when they entered the city hall as a show of gratitude and remembrance of their loss.”
Eight years ago, the 56-year-old 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 has polycystic kidney disease where the kidneys are gradually replaced by cysts growing through the tissue causing the organs to grow and become non-functioning.
Then came dialysis which required Jo to be hooked up to a machine three times a week four hours at a time.
Mrs Hopkins took part in the games to raise awareness of transplant and urging people to become donors.