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Team Transplant Sports

Vivian de Klerk

On Sunday, 8 March 2020, eleven members of the South Africans Transplant Sports Association formed part of the 30 000 cyclists from all over the world that participated in the Cape Town Cycle Tour.

The team consisted of a group of transplant recipients who decided to take on the 109km Cape Town Cycle Tour they to create awareness around organ donation and transplantation in South Africa. Their aim was also to show what can be achieved after an organ transplant.

The 11 cyclists consist out of seven kidney recipients, two heart recipients and two bone marrow/stem cell recipients. Most of these cyclists have already achieved amazing achievements after their transplants and this was an ample opportunity to put another great achievement to their bucket list.

Some of our members had earlier start times and used the earlier start time to avoid the terrible weather that battered those who started later. Michael Bradfield finished in a fantastic time of 03:39. Of the 11 cyclist that started the race, seven of our cyclists completed the 109km successfully.

Bradley Arendse, a kidney recipient from Malmesbury, was only four months post-transplant when he did the Cape Town Cycle Tour. Arendse entered the Cycle Tour before his kidney transplant and it was his dream to complete in the biggest timed cycle race in the world on 8 March 2020. After his

local newspaper did an article about him, a total stranger from Riebeeck West decided to sponsor him with a proper road bike and he finished the Cycle Tour in good health.

#TeamTransplant_SA consisted out of the following members:

Michael Bradfield                      Kidney recipient

John Connell                             Kidney recipient

Vivian de Klerk                          Stem cell recipient

Henk Goris                                Kidney recipient

Prince Kgomo                           Kidney recipient

Rentia le Roux                           Kidney recipient

Rory Newkirk                             Kidney recipient

Melda Ruiters                            Stem cell recipient

Gerhard van Dyk                       Heart recipient

Mark Agnew                              Heart recipient

Bradley Arendse                        Kidney recipient

By participating in the Cape Town Cycle Tour #TeamTransplant_SA was testimony of the success of organ donation in our country and how a transplant can change someone’s life. The team created amazing media interest in the week before the race and local radio stations and publications ran the story.

Many of the cyclist use opportunities like the Cycle Tour to pay tribute to their donors and their donor families and motivate people to register as organ donors. Without the gift of organ donation none of these cyclists would have had the opportunity to hear “Hoopla! On Sunday, 8 March 2020.