Ski trip success for brave Leeds transplant kids

STARS OF THE SLOPES: From left, Akash Suryavansi, Phoebe Calderbank and John Dunwell.
STARS OF THE SLOPES: From left, Akash Suryavansi, Phoebe Calderbank and John Dunwell.
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they’ve already demonstrated incredible bravery – and now these youngsters have shown off their skills on the slopes.

The young transplant patients headed to Switzerland to visit a special ski camp for children from around the world.

The annual Tackers International Ski Camp, held in Anzere, saw 12 UK youngsters meet other young Transplant Sport athletes.

Among the group were three who had their operations in Leeds, John Dunwell, Akash Suryavansi and Phoebe Calderbank.

Leeds play worker Lisa Beaumont, who accompanied the children, said: “It was an amazing week where the kids grew in confidence, developed self esteem and made friends from around the world.

“They learnt to ski and snowboard, took part in swimming, snowshoeing, sledging and dog sledging and made pizzas and cup cakes.

“They also shared stories with children from around the world about their different transplants and celebrated life, as well as gave thanks to their donor families as without them they would not be here today.”

Tackers was set up by Liz Schick, who had a liver transplant in 1997 and afterwards wanted to set up the camps to show there was life after the surgery.

John, from Kirkstall, Leeds, underwent a kidney transplant in 2011.

The teenager said: “I met loads of new and great people and it was great to share my story and listen to others and their experiences.”

Akash, from Harehills, had a kidney transplant in 2004 and Phoebe, from Salford – who scooped the overall Tackers Trophy at the camp – had a liver transplant as a baby.

Also on the trip was 10-year-old Ben Davey, from Leeds, who had a heart transplant aged four.

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