Team GB transplant athlete from Lilley out to spread organ donation message
PUBLISHED: 09:56 02 September 2018
Lilley businessman Dino Maroudias has a new spring in his step - not just thanks to the life-saving kidney donated by his brother Andy in 2007, but also to his growing reputation as a sportsman with the Great Britain transplant athletes team.
And he’s on a mission to spread the organ donation message.
Dino was part of the 50-strong contingent that returned from the European Transplant and Dialysis Sports Championships in Sardinia in June after securing a whopping 165 medals to win the overall best team trophy.
The man behind independent network mobile dealer Talk Uk Telecom was responsible for four of them – petanque singles, petanque doubles, table tennis and badminton.
And the Manchester-born 52-year-old then collected three more at the British Transplant Games in Birmingham.
Now he’s looking forward to competing in the World Transplant Games in Newcastle next year.
He said: “The team gelled well and they’re like a second family, they come from every corner of the country. We’re all organ and bone marrow transplant recipients and it’s all about friendship and camaraderie.
“We actively promote organ donation and take part in the games to show people that you can be fit again and live well after a transplant.
“I’m passionate about the cause. And if you have a donor card make sure you have that donation conversation with your family. Because the card can be overruled if your next of kin are unaware of your wishes.”
Dino, who moved to Lilley 15 years ago with his wife Justine initially suffered from diabetes and was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2006. Andy, who is now 47, immediately offered one of his.
Dad-of-four Dino said he would always be grateful to his younger brother for this life-saving gift.
“It was a perfect match and I felt much better straight away,” he said.
“I also needed a pancreas transplant in 2012 to try to cure my diabetes.
“But even though I’m on 18 anti-reject tablets a day, it’s a small price to pay for having your life back.
“Having a transplant really affects the way you think. I’ve become much more of a doer, I try to help others and I live life to the full.”
To find out more about becoming a donor, see organdonation.nhs.uk.