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Ukrainian athlete living in Abingdon to participate in 2022 European Transplant and Dialysis Games

22/08/2022

Maksym Shuhla, a Ukrainian from Kiev, who arrived in the UK in April 2022 after fleeing the conflict in Ukraine will be participating in the European Transplant and Dialysis Games. Maksym worked as a video editor on a TV news channel in Ukraine for eight years before having to leave with his family for safety. After his arrival in the UK, Maksym was included on the UK Transplant list and continued to have dialysis at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford. Maksym says this is “a unique chance” to have been added to the list, and he is “extremely grateful for the opportunity.”

It was during one of his dialysis sessions that Dr Paul Harden, Renal Consultant at the Churchill Hospital, spoke to him about the games, encouraging him to participate. Maksym was not unfamiliar with the Games as he heard about it during one of his dialysis appointments in Poland. Maksym is the current captain of the Ukrainian team for the Games and will be participating in two sports: bowling and Pétanque. He is very excited to be able to take part in the Games with hopes of winning some medals.

Paul Harden, Renal Consultant at OUH and Chairman, Transplant Sport said: “I am pleased that the European Transplant and Dialysis Games is happening in Oxford this year. It is an opportunity to invite the transplant and dialysis community from all over Europe, reconnect socially and take part in several sporting events to help keep them active. This is something which is important post-transplant.”

Maksym Shuhla, Ukrainian team captain for the European Transplant and Dialysis Games said: “The Games are an excellent idea. It is also a great way to let people like me know that partaking in sports is good. When I go back home, I would like to organise similar Games for people like me. There are a lot of young people on dialysis in Ukraine and I believe such recreational activities would be good for them.”

The European Transplant and Dialysis Games is a week of multi-sport competition amongst organ transplant recipients and kidney dialysis patients, representing more than 25 nations across Europe. The Games, which started in the year 2000 in Athens in Greece, have taken place bi-annually in nine different European countries.

Taking place in Oxfordshire from Sunday 21 – Sunday 28 August for the first time in the UK, over 400 contestants will have the opportunity to compete in various sports like swimming, golf, volleyball, bowling, badminton amongst many others. The Games are also an opportunity to promote the benefits of organ donation and the amazing life-saving impact of organ transplantation. The also help transplant recipients and dialysis patients re-engage socially and provide an invaluable goal for the next 12 months.