Michelle’s Transplant Games story

“I’m really looking forward to the buzz on the day”

Michelle Hemmings, 47, from Birmingham, is taking part in the walking event at the Westfield Health British Transplant Games. This is her first time competing.

“I’d heard about the Games a few times and I always thought it could be me one day. They were in my hometown last year, in Birmingham, but I wasn’t well enough, so I’m really excited to be able to be part of them this summer.

My event involves walking 1.8 miles and my goal is to finish it. I know that on the day, I’m going to feel quite emotional.

I’ve been doing quite a lot of training. I started walking a few months after my transplant, initially with family and friends, but recently on my own too. I definitely think that signing up for the Games has given me the motivation to keep going with it and I now head out every couple of days.

I tend to walk around the block, which takes around 20 minutes, or I drive to my local park and walk around there.

Walking helps boost my energy levels, helps my breathing, and helps to strengthen my muscles.

It also helps me mentally. I don’t over-exert myself; I just do what I can.

I feel a sense of achievement when I finish a walk as before my transplant, I could only manage two or three minutes, carrying oxygen. It was hard to go out and about with it, as people would look at me, or ask me questions, and I just felt like going back home again.

But now, I don’t have to carry oxygen, I can breathe unaided, and I can walk for up to an hour with regular short breaks.

I’ll be heading to Newport in July with my daughter, my Mum and two friends.

I’m really looking forward to the buzz on the day and seeing all the other participants.

Michelle is using her walking challenge to raise money for the Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Charity. You can sponsor via her Go Fund Me page here.

She is also organising a black tie ball in September. Full details can be found here.

Last medically reviewed: June, 2019 • Due for review: June, 2022