Sean checks out at Transplant Games

Kerry darts ace Sean Marshall, who struck gold at the European Transplant and Dialysis Games in Poland this week, is to give his medal to his "amazing" donor brother.

Sean checks out at Transplant Games

Sean, from Tralee, Co Kerry, received a bone marrow transplant from his brother Paudie four years ago when he had leukaemia. The chances of him surviving the procedure were very slim.

He is now looking forward to presenting Paudie with his gold medal from his first transplant championship when he returns home to Ireland this weekend.

He also has the distinction of being the only and first ever bone marrow transplant recipient on Transplant Team Ireland.

Sean, who also won a silver medal in the darts team event, completed the 5km mini-marathon in Krakow earlier in the week, describing it as an overwhelming experience.

“I went from being on the brink of death a short few years ago to racing in a 5km mini-marathon this week. I love my new lease of life,” said Sean.

Sean was told there was a 90% that he would not survive the operation and spent five months in isolation.

As part of his preparations for the games, Sean took part in the Ring of Kerry Cycle last month — he took up the challenge just 12 weeks after starting cycling.

“I would not be here if it was not for my amazing brother, Paudie. This gold medal is his and I look forward to presenting it to him when I return to Ireland this weekend. This week is to celebrate my donor brother — what a man.”

Sean is also very grateful to his running coach, Tina Donovan, who kept him going through the good and the bad times.

Cork transplant athlete Charlie Ryan struck gold again at the games.

The liver transplant recipient won a gold medal for darts. It is the fourth time that Charlie, 68, the oldest member of the Irish team, has won gold in darts at the European games and this time around it was no easy task.

“I had to beat two Irish men to get my gold, which was tough. I would like to thank Sinead in the Jack Doyle Bar for all her help with my darts technique,” he said.

He was one of almost 500 participants from 30 countries throughout Europe who took part in the games.

Every athlete in the event has either already received a kidney, heart, liver, lung, pancreas or bone marrow transplant, or are on dialysis.

The Irish Kidney Association is responsible for the co-ordination and organisation of Transplant Team Ireland’s participation in the European Transplant and Dialysis Sports Championships.

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