A well renowned Co Kildare man will be competing at this year's World Transplant Games. He received a living donor kidney transplant from his sister Catherine in 1987. He resides in Kilcullen, Co. Kildare with his wife Emma and son Andrew, and is an award winning butcher at Nolan's of Kilcullen.
Mr Nolan will be competing at this year’s World Transplant Games in the 50-59 years age category in the following events:
Track & Field – 400m
Track & Field – 4 x 400m Relay
Track & Field – 800m
Track & Field – 200m
This will be James's 15th time to participate with Team Ireland. He has previously participated in the World Transplant Games in France 2003, Canada 2005, Thailand 2007, Australia 2009, Sweden 2011, South Africa 2013 and Spain 2017. He has also taken part in the European Transplant and Dialysis Sports Championships in Hungary 2006, Germany 2008, Dublin 2010, Croatia 2012, Poland 2014, Finland 2016 and Italy 2018.
Mr Nolan said: “I spent the first 20 years of my life dealing with kidney problems and all that goes with it. This included a year on dialysis before I was lucky to receive a life-saving kidney transplant from my sister, Catherine, on July 25, 1987. Fortunately, since the transplant, both Catherine and I have continued to enjoy very good health. Ironically, I met my wife Emma at a PKRF Organ Donor Awareness Charity Ball and we have a beautiful son called Andrew James, who means everything to us."
He said:"One of the many benefits open to transplant recipients is that you are eligible to participate in Transplant Sports once you return to good health. The Transplant Games encourages me to get fit to compete in my selected sports. Being part of Transplant Team Ireland offers the amazing opportunity to represent Ireland, travel to different parts of the world, meet your peers with inspirational stories and make friends for life. It also inspires me to remain as fit as possible in order to compete to the best of my ability at my selected sports which are Athletics and Golf. Being part of Transplant Team Ireland enables me to set personal targets and motivates me to stay fit and healthy – both mentally as well as physically. I find the people on dialysis incredibly inspirational and a reminder of just how lucky I am."
Mr Nolan said:"I simply want to go with my transplant and dialysis ‘family’ and enjoy the whole Games experience, make new friends, meet old friends, meet inspirational people who have overcome massive obstacles in their lives – and again just to enjoy the experience with the Irish team."
He said:"As a Team, we are totally united and incredibly aware as to just how grateful the Transplant Athletes are to all the Donor Families for giving us a second chance in Life. Transplant Team Ireland would simply say Thank You to all the Donor Families."