Mother's memory to live on at Transplant Games in Sunderland
A World Transplant Games volunteer is spreading the word on organ donation after her mother's death.
Linda Ross, from Herrington, is working behind the scenes and will also perform medal ceremony duties.
Her mum Janet worked for many years as a children's nurse and always urged people to donate. Janet died in May 2018.
Linda, 52, started volunteering as a teenager with the Girl Guides. Last year she volunteered at the Tall Ships. She’s also a regular the council’s BIG events programme where she is mascot Roary the lion.
The games run between August 17-23, Saturday to Friday, with three of the 16 sports in Sunderland. All participants are either recipients of organ or tissue transplant, living donors, or donor families.
Hotel receptionist Linda, said: "I was always going to be a volunteer for the Transplant Games because of what I went through last year when my mum died.
“She had a brain aneurysm and her kidneys and liver were donated. She was 78 when she died and the organs were healthy. That’s another thing to remember; you’re not always too old to donate.
"I feel very proud that even with her death she was able to help others live. One of mum’s kidneys also went for medical research. So who knows, it might be that a cure for kidney disease could also come from my mum."Janet’s other kidney went to a woman in Yorkshire and her liver to a Newcastle man.
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Linda said: "I’ve received updates about them and understand they are both well. This is another reason why I’m involved with the transplant games. As my mum always said, people should be donors because you are giving people the gift of life.”
Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council's cabinet member for communities and culture, said: "As a city, we're very proud to be showing our support by hosting these events and Linda's story is a moving one.
During August people can watch swimming at Sunderland Aquatic Centre on Tuesday 20 and Wednesday 21, cycling at Hetton Lyons Country Park on Tuesday 20 and ten-pin bowling at Hollywood Bowling, Washington on Monday 19 and Tuesday 20.For more information visit www.worldtransplantgames.org/youre-never-too-old-to-donate