Tuesday, 02 May 2017

Transplant athlete needs a sporting chance

FIVE RECORDS BROKEN: Martinique Du Preez holds Transplant records in 100m sprint, 200m sprint, javelin, long jump and ball throw FIVE RECORDS BROKEN: Martinique Du Preez holds Transplant records in 100m sprint, 200m sprint, javelin, long jump and ball throw

This first year Management student looks the picture of health but one glance at his toned stomach reveals the scars of over 25 operations.

Martinique Du Preez was once dubbed the Miracle Boy by surgeons at Groote Schuur Hospital because he beat the odds to receive not one but two kidneys. His miraculous story is even more special because he then went on to earn his place on the South African Transplant Games team and last year broke five SA Transplant records in one day.

Martinique says he astounded even himself when he broke those records at the Transplant National Games. The sporting codes he broke are 100m sprint, 200m sprint, javelin, long jump and ball throw.

“I just went to enjoy myself and as I kept breaking the records I felt that it couldn’t be me doing these things,” he says.

“It was even more surprising because in the past I have struggled to qualify for the team.”

Martinique says the standards for Transplant Athletes are equally stringent to that of regular ones.

“The standards are always high whether you are a transplant or paraplegic athlete. So the athletes you see at these games are the best of the best,” he says.

Martinique was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure when he was 13 years old. He received his first kidney donation from his mother however that organ was rejected after only six hours.  The likelihood of finding a second suitable donor was slim because of his rare blood type AB+. Then news came that he was a match for a donor kidney from a young man his age who was fatally shot on the Cape Flats.

Martinique is now raising funds to attend the World Transplant Games to be held in Malaga Spain in June. 

Written by Lauren Kansley

Tel: +27 21 953 8646
Email: kansleyl@cput.ac.za

Liaises with the media and writes press releases about interesting developments at CPUT.