Skip to main content
Press release
Friday 14 June 2024

Young patients from Southampton Children's Hospital need your help going for gold

A team of 13 young transplant patients treated at Southampton Children’s Hospital are hoping to raise £9,000 to take part in the British Transplant Games 2024.

Now in its 46th year, the Transplant Games will run from August 1-4 in Nottingham. This year’s event is expected to attract more than 1,000 athletes who will compete in over 25 sporting events including track and field, ping-pong, badminton, and volleyball over the course of four days.

The competitors from Southampton Children’s Hospital who are hoping to take part are aged between five and 17 and have all received life-saving treatment at SCH’s specialist nephrology unit, which treats young people with acute and chronic kidney disease and currently has 50 kidney transplant recipients in their care.

They make up ‘Team Southampton’ and will be joined by parents, siblings and staff who will be among the 1,500 strong supporters set to attend the games, which are organised by charity Transplant Sport and Westfield Health.

It costs approximately £2,000 to send a child and their family members to the games, covering their kit, travel, accommodation and food.

Kian Channing, 9, is one of the 13 young patients taking part this year. Born with bilateral renal dysplasia, Kian underwent a kidney transplant in January 2023. He participated in the 2023 Transplant Games but in February of this year he was diagnosed with post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD), a type of cancer that sometimes develops in people who have had a transplant and take medicines to suppress their immune system.

After receiving four rounds of chemotherapy, Kian is now back on the road to recovery and looking forward to retaining his gold medal at this year’s games.

Mum, Kirsty Channing, from Jersey, said “We’re hoping Kian is going to be well enough to go again this year as he had such a great time last year and has been really looking forward to it.

“At school, Kian struggles to keep up with his peers when it comes to sports, the Transplant Games brings these transplant kids together and puts them on a level playing field where they can enjoy sports and feel normal. Here they are just kids for once, not patients.”

Sarah Grylls, clinical nurse specialist in paediatric nephrology at Southampton Children’s Hospital, said: “So far, we’ve managed to raise over half of the money required to attend the event, but we just need that last push to get us over the finishing line.

“I can’t explain how fantastic the event is - it brings young patients and families together to do something that is so much fun and at the same time rewarding. It is something many of them never dreamed they would be able to do. This year we are a 64-strong team made up of our patients, their families and staff who volunteer their time.”

Shuman Haq, consultant paediatric nephrologist at Southampton Children’s Hospital, is also helping to raise money for the event by completing a 100-mile bike ride from Evelina London Children’s Hospital to Southampton Children’s Hospital on June 29th, 2024. He said “The British Transplant Games provide much needed joy to our transplant kids and their families, bringing some relief from the merry go round of medications, fluid targets and clinic appointments.

“Team Southampton is funded entirely through charitable donations, which enable us to provide entry to the games, transport, accommodation and team uniforms. Without this money, none of this would be possible”

The group will also use their participation as a platform to raise awareness of the NHS organ donor register – discussing the importance of sharing wishes with loved ones while also celebrating life and giving thanks to donor families and living donors.

So far, the team have raised £16,000 to help fund the trip, including a generous donation of £5,000 from Kidney Care UK.

Paul Bristow, Chief Executive of Kidney Care UK, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting the Team from Southampton Children’s Hospital to help them compete in the British Transplant Games 2024 in Nottingham.

“We have been involved with the Transplant Games since the very first event in 1978 and have been a proud partner of the Games for over a decade. We’re looking forward to another fantastic competition in Nottingham this year. The Games are an incredible opportunity to unite the transplant community, especially after the struggles many have faced through the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis.

“Whether you are there to enjoy the camaraderie, to take part, or to win, everyone is there for the same reason: to show the world that organ donation and transplantation changes lives.”

Ellis Banfield, chief executive at Southampton Hospitals Charity, who are also supporting the Transplant Games team, said: “Southampton Hospitals Charity is incredibly proud to support our young transplant patients from the Children’s Hospital and this is an event we look forward to each year. The sheer determination shown from the children is inspiring and we wish them all the very best”

For more information on how to support Team Southampton at this year’s Transplant Games please visit