Connect: Twitter Facebook

News & Events

Sporting Chance From George Best Charity

August 16th, 2010

George Best Foundation donates £6,000 to help teenagers to attend world transplant games

The George Best Foundation has paid to help four young athletes attend the World Transplant Games in Australia.

We first became involved in the project when a letter was sent by James Flintam in the spring of 2009.

James was then a sixteen year old, who in his short life had endured so much.

He was diagnosed with Hepatoblastoma, a solid cancerous tumour and despite receiving a liver re section and chemotherapy, the cancer returned seventeen months later.

Following two further sessions of chemotherapy, one of which was a new trial treatment, sadly, the cancer remained active. The only way in which James would survive was to have a liver transplant. The operation was a great success and despite having to remain permanently on medication, James makes the most of his life and is a keen and extremely active sports enthusiast.

James was chosen to participate in the British Transplant Games which were held in August 2008 and such was his success that he was then selected to go to the World Transplant Games in Australia in August 2009. What an achievement! The problem was that James needed to raise £4000 for the trip. He wrote to many businesses looking for sponsorship and also to the George Best Foundation.

We were the only one to respond and it was quickly decided that not only would we help James to fulfil his own dream, but we also wanted to help some other young people who had faced similar life threatening illnesses. Three teenagers, two from Northern Ireland and one from England were quickly sourced.

All three are organ recipients: Conor Patton (16) from Crumlin, Rachel Curran (15) from Kilkeel and Hannah Bryan (17) from Stockport.

All of the teenagers were brought to Belfast for a football match which had been organised to also raise funds for Conor and were presented with a cheque for £6,000 to help them on their once in a lifetime trip. As a charity, we have supported some very worthwhile causes, but this one was particularly important and poignant.

The success of each young person at the games in Australia was outstanding. They all won medals. Hannah alone won two gold, three silver and one bronze. She beat all of her personal best records, broke two world games records and most importantly in Hannah’s own words “had lots of fun along the way”

The George Best Foundation is honoured and delighted to have been able to help these great young people, who despite their difficulties have all lived life to the full and can’t be praised enough for their enthusiasm not just for sport, but for life.