An All Saints Academy pupil, who had a kidney transplant in 2009, has been named in the Great Britain and Northern Ireland squad for the World Transplant Games.
Robert Collins, 13, of Dunstable, will join over 200 transplant athletes from the UK on a plane to Malaga in June.
The Badminton player was born with kidney failure and has had 25 operations, in 2009 Robert had a kidney transplant, donated by his uncle. A year later he was voted the People’s Choice Award winner for the Luton Pride Awards.
He is taking on a marathon challenge during half term with his 12-year-old sister Harriet and mum, Liz, to raise money for the family to go and support him at the games.
Robert and his sister are also hoping to raise awareness to the importance of families discussing organ donation
Liz said: ”We will be taking on the challenge in the half term, three miles a day for nine days. It is overwhelming that he has been picked for the games, we watched the Olympics and Paralympics and it was very emotional.
“He is looking forward to it, we have never been abroad before and to be able to go together and support him and the team will be amazing.
“For Robert to go and for us all to support him there, we need to raise £10,000 to pay for flights, accommodation, training, insurance, kit and administration costs.
“We have only just started fundraising but the generosity and support from people has been amazing and we are very grateful.”
Robert does Badminton training three times a week and he also enjoys table tennis, he said: “My transplant changed my life, before I had my transplant I was always poorly and couldn’t eat properly but now I am fit and excited by the opportunity of representing my country.
“Since my transplant I have always been to the British Transplant Games with The Great Ormond Street Hospital Renal Team where I have competed in a number of events and won a range of medals.
“I have been the gold medal holder in badminton for the past five years and I am working hard at training to give myself the best chance.”
Robert’s dad, Matt Collins, is very proud of his son and what he has achieved, he said: “Rob is truly inspirational in what he continues to achieve and with Harriet always so supportive and by his side we are very lucky to have such positive and loving children.
“We are so very fortunate to still have Robert with us, and through his making so much of every day he shows just what a full and active life people of all ages can lead after an organ transplant.
“Liz and I certainly would not have been able to cope over the years were it not for the support from family, friends, local schools, doctors and of course Great Ormond Street.”
To donate go to: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/RobertCollinsWTG