A YACHTING team of transplant patients are to represent Edinburgh in a race around the world.
Ten patients have entered the Edinburgh yacht in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race putting the capital in the running for a second time.
The relay team of transplant patients from across the UK will man the yacht in the race and will be accompanied by aroundsix doctors and nurses.
The team includes three kidney transplant patients and a double lung transplant recipient.
The transplant ambassadors’ team hopes that the national shortage of organs for transplantation will be reduced as the race will show the potential that donations have to transform lives.
The project is being led by Stephen Wigmore, professor of transplantation surgery and the clinical lead for transplantation at the University of Edinburgh.
“It’s quite daunting but it is very exciting at the same time. We wanted to send out a really positive message so that people could see that if a patient who was really sick gets a transplant, they don’t just get a little bit better, it completely transforms their life and they’re able to do amazing things like sail around the world.
“We hope people will find what we’re doing inspirational and we’re looking for people to sign up to the organ donor register. “
The team are known as Edinburgh Inspiring Capital and will take part in the 40,000 mile circumnavigation – the world’s longest ocean race – along with nine other international teams.
The race kicks off on the south coast on July 31 with over 500 people representing more than 40 nationalities.
The 12-month race will see the yachts visit 14 ports on six continents including, Rio de Janeiro, Cape Town, New Zealand, Singapore, and New York before returning to the UK.
Alan Stewart, 48, a kidney transplant recipient from Eddleston in the Scottish Borders, will cross the Pacific Ocean on his leg from China to California.
“I’m dead excited and I can’t wait, although I can’t say that crossing the Pacific doesn’t fill me with a certain amount of trepidation. “
First Minister Alex Salmond has given his support to the project calling the team
“wonderful ambassadors for Scotland.”
“I’m sure this year’s participants will again be an inspiration to others striving to overcome personal challenges and achieve their ambitions.
To sponsor the team, visit www.edinburghuni.workwithus.org/Fundraising/Donate.aspx?page=6234