St Albans transplant athlete wins medals at European championship in Poland

PUBLISHED: 19:00 02 September 2014

William Laughton of St Albans brought home medals from the European Transplant and Dialysis Games in Poland

William Laughton of St Albans brought home medals from the European Transplant and Dialysis Games in Poland

Photo supplied

Just two years after undergoing a bone marrow transplant, an inspirational St Albans athlete has returned triumphant from an international sports competition.

William Laughton, 27, collected two bronze medals while representing Great Britain in cycling events at the recent European Transplant and Dialysis Games in Krakow, Poland.

He was competing in the time trial and road race events at the games, which attracted participants from 25 countries.

William said that bringing home two medals was “awesome”.

He thanked his brother for “upgrading” his bone marrow as a result of the transplant, as he had been suffering leukaemia, a cancer of the white blood cells.

William said the hardest part was becoming competition-ready, adding that going from “near-death to getting back to fitness took about two years”.

He was 25 years old when diagnosed with the condition.

Team GB won 29 medals overall at the event, which was organised by the European Transplant and Dialysis Sporting Federation to give transplanted athletes and those on dialysis an opportunity to compete in sports.

The games also help people to celebrate the gift of life and raise awareness of the ongoing need for organ donations.

Williams is already planning to take part in future transplant competitions, including national and world games.

He said: “I will have to save up to compete, as it is self-funded.”

For information on how to sign the Organ Donor Register visit or call 0300 123 23 23.

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