Selby College Health and Social Care student, Lydia Warner, has been selected to represent Great Britain in swimming at the World Transplant Games 2023 in Perth, Australia in April.
After successfully competing in the British Transplant Games in the summer 2022, Lydia has been chosen to join the squad based on her exceptional times.
At only five years old, Lydia was diagnosed with Pancreatoblastoma which had spread to her liver. She had chemotherapy but on Boxing Day, Lydia’s parents were told the devastating news that it was terminal.
Lydia underwent multiple operations over the years including the removal of a third of her pancreas, the removal of her spleen and a live liver transplant from her mum. Fast forward to today, Lydia is now studying a Level 2 programme in Health and Social Care and is preparing to take part in the world’s largest awareness event for transplant recipients.
“I’m so excited to have been chosen to represent my country in the World Transplant Games. I’ve always loved swimming and competing but I never imagined that I would be able to take my passion to the world stage, which is my biggest dream. I’m very grateful to everyone who is fundraising to help fund my trip to Australia, it means so much to me.”
Lydia’s club, Selby Sharks Swimming Club, hosted a fundraiser on Saturday 14th January to help raise the funds for Lydia’s trip. This saw 12 swimmers from two teams take part in a 24-hour swim at John Smeaton Leisure Centre in Leeds, raising more than £3,000.
“Lydia has overcome so much in her life, but she has found a true passion in swimming – it is her happy place, it helps her stay fit, healthy and relaxed. She had a really difficult year last year, after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and undergoing three operations on her liver, so finding out that she has been selected by Great Britain is the good news that we all needed – giving her hope and something to focus on,” said Kate Warner, Lydia’s mum.
The seven-day event, which takes place between April 15th until April 21st 2023, includes a range of high exertion and low impact sports.
First held 1978 in Portsmouth, UK, today the event attracts more than 2500 participants from over 60 nations.
“This is a massive achievement for anyone, but with everything that Lydia has been through, it really is amazing. Lydia not only shows this level of sheer determination and hard work to her swimming, but also to her studies and any obstacles she faces in her personal life. She is a true inspiration and all of her tutors and fellow course mates are incredibly proud of her and what she has achieved. We will be rooting for her,” said Sarah Smith, Additional Learning Support Coordinator at Selby College.
Find out more about Lydia’s story by visiting her JustGiving page here