Malmesbury organ transplant patient headed for World Transplant Games in Australia

Bradley Arendse of Malmesbury is set to represent South Africa at the World Transplant Games in Perth, Australia. Picture: WCG

Bradley Arendse of Malmesbury is set to represent South Africa at the World Transplant Games in Perth, Australia. Picture: WCG

Published Apr 14, 2023


Cape Town – A transplant patient from Malmesbury in the Western Cape is set to attend the World Transplant Games in Perth, Australia, which start this weekend.

Bradley Arendse, 39, is set to represent South Africa against other organ transplant recipients in the 30–39 age group in the 100-metre sprint race track and field competition.

Tygerberg Hospital’s nephrology team wished him well on his journey.

Tygerberg Hospital spokesperson Laticia Pienaar said Arendse’s story was an inspiration to others whose lives could also be transformed by organ and tissue donation.

“Bradley was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease in July 2013. In October 2013, he started with peritoneal dialysis at Tygerberg Hospital, and in February 2016 with haemodialysis.

“His journey was not an easy one as he had to travel all the way from Malmesbury to Tygerberg Hospital with public transport to receive treatment. Fortunately, in 2014, he won a 150cc scooter in a competition,” Pienaar said.

The World Transplant Games Federation is a UK-based non-profit organisation that aims to promote amateur sport amongst organ transplant recipients, living donors, and donor families.

The games is the largest sporting event for organ transplant recipients in the world.

The event is set to take place from Saturday, April 15, until Friday, April 21.

More than 1 500 athletes from across the world are expected to participate.

“In 2019, after being on the transplant waiting list for seven years, Bradley received a kidney donation from a deceased donor. In March 2020, four months after the transplant, he completed his first Cape Town Cycle Tour,” Pienaar said.

The married father of three who works as a trade clerk at Agrimark is also a newly established poet and part-time writer.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, Arendse was unable to participate in the National Transplant Games, however, last year he made his debut.

Arendse’s advice to other kidney patients is: “‘One day of good memories can lead to a lifetime of joy. I always compare life with a battery. You cannot start the battery without the negative and positive. The same can be said of life – there will be positives and negatives”.

He also thanked his donor and the hospital for their support.

“I am grateful for the unknown cadaver donor, Organ Donation South Africa, Tygerberg Hospital’s nephrology team and the National Renal Care Dialysis Centre in Paarl who journeyed this road with me. Also, I am very thankful to my wife who has been a pillar of strength throughout this whole experience,” Arendse said.

One organ donor can save up to seven lives and transform more than 50 lives, the hospital said.

According to Dr Johan Nel of the nephrology division of Stellenbosch University’s Department of Medicine, kidney transplants offer the best quality of life and longest survival for patients with end-stage kidney disease.

“Unfortunately, much needs to be done to raise public awareness and increase donation,” Nel said.

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