An inspirational youngster will travel to France next week to raise awareness of organ donation.
Rachel Hooley, from Cramlington, had a successful heart transplant in February 2012 and is heading to La Chapelle D’Abondance to participate in the Nicholas Cup, which runs along side the Winter World Transplant Games.
Nine-year-old Rachel will be taking part in the competition 23 months after having her life-saving heart transplant due to dilated cardiomyopathy.
The Nicholas Cup was founded in memory of Nicholas Green, a young American boy who was killed in Italy and whose family donated his organs for the benefit of others.
The cup is reserved for transplant children who have never skied, aged from eight to 17 years, and Rachel will be competing for Team GB.
Rachel said: “I am so looking forward to taking part, to live my life to the full, just like my donor would want.”
Lynne Holt, team manager and trustee at Transplant Sport, said: “Every member of Team GB has already had to ‘climb a mountain’ to get through the transplant, and with their courage and determination, will enjoy the thrills of skiing down the mountains in France.
“Hopefully this international event will encourage others to sign on to the organ donor register, but most importantly, discuss their final wishes with their families.”
Visit www.organdonation.nhs.uk for more details about signing the organ donor register.