Medal winning teen swimmer Ellis is going for gold in the Transplant Games

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The British transplant games are underway, and Ellie is going for gold.

Medal winning swimmer Ellie is ready to dive into the water this week for Westfield Health British Transplant Games.

Seventeen-year-old Ellie has been part of the British Transplant Games since 2006, first attending at 18-months-old and competing since she was two.

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The games are a celebration of life, am inclusive event transplant recipients of all ability levels to articipate.

Fingers crossed for Ellie Greenwood this weekendFingers crossed for Ellie Greenwood this weekend
Fingers crossed for Ellie Greenwood this weekend

Ellie, a patient at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Leeds Children’s Hospital, received a liver transplant at seven months old in 2005 following a diagnosis of heptoblastoma (liver cancer), Ellie said: “The games have been a big part of my life. Through the transplant games I have gained some close personal friends and an extended transplant family.

“I have met and made friends from all around the country, and even the world who are in the same position as me. It has helped me to experience and take part in a whole range of sports I probably wouldn’t have done without it.”

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Following her Heptoblastoma diagnosis at Leeds Children’s Hospital, Ellie returned to Sheffield Children’s Hospital to undergo chemotherapy treatment to attempt to reduce her tumour.

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Ellie as a babyEllie as a baby
Ellie as a baby

Ellie competed in lots of different disciplines from running events, ball throwing, obstacle races, badminton and swimming. Ellie took to a love of swimming and went on to represent team GB in Spain and Newcastle.

This month marks Ellie’s last year representing the children’s team, as she will compete with adults next year. She will still have an active role helping the children’s swim team by becoming their swim captain.

Proud mum of Ellie, Tracey from Rotherham, told us about the care Ellie received and her role in the games.

Tracey said: “She underwent five courses of chemotherapy spending a week at a time in hospital where she was looked after amazingly by the Dr’s and nursing staff through what was a difficult time. We got to know the nurses well and eventually became friends with one nurse as we met her at the school gates when Ellie started school and she became friends with her son. They couldn’t do enough for us during this time.

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Young Ellie Greenwood competingYoung Ellie Greenwood competing
Young Ellie Greenwood competing

“Unfortunately, the treatment at Sheffield didn’t work as hoped and the only way forward was a liver transplant which meant returning to the transplant unit at Leeds Children’s Hospital. That was the start of a three months stay in hospital which included a successful transplant and a ten week stay to manage issues around a leak from the liver.”

Dr Anna Jenkins, Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, who took care of Ellie whilst having treatment said what a pleasure it’s been to watch Ellie succeed.

Dr Jenkins said: “Being active is so important for all of our health and well-being but can be difficult when you have had significant health needs. The Transplant Games is a great way of recognising and celebrating how much young people like Ellie can achieve.”

Ellie has won a host of medals at the British Transplant GamesEllie has won a host of medals at the British Transplant Games
Ellie has won a host of medals at the British Transplant Games

Leeds is the host city for this year’s games from July 28 to July 31 and we wish all athletes involved the best of luck!

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Dominic Brown, editor.