Let’s Help Maria Lucas make it to the World Transplant Games
Maria Lucas, long-term Tumbulgum resident, was born with Cystic Fibrosis. In June 2014, Maria (49) had a collapsed lung caused by her condition. On the 30 December 2014, Maria thankfully received a double lung transplant. One week after her surgery, Maria’s new left lung was removed due to medical complications. Before and after her surgery Maria came close to losing her battle from Cystic Fibrosis, but she held on in the hope that a successful transplant donor would be found and she would regain her health and a better quality of life. Maria’s recovery was slow and she remained in hospital for 5 months recuperating. She is eternally grateful to her donor family for their gift and Maria is making the most of her second chance at life.
Maria will be competing in the 21st Summer ‘World Transplant Games’ for Australia. These inspirational Games will be held in the beautiful Mediterranean port city of Málaga in Spain from Sunday 25 June – Sunday 02 July, 2017. The competitors in the games are unique in that each one of them is alive and well because of a successful organ transplant.
Maria’s purpose in competing is to visibly demonstrate the benefits of successful organ transplantation, work to increase public awareness of its success and thereby increase organ donation rates, as well as promote the full rehabilitation and wellbeing of participants. Although Maria has never been a ‘sporty’ person, she took up ‘Table Tennis’ as part of her rehabilitation regime. Playing sport is out of Maria’s comfort zone, however she feels she owes her donor to embrace the precious gift of life that she has received. Each Monday, Maria trains at the Uniting Church Hall at Kingscliff where she is well supported in her quest. Maria will compete in both single and mixed fixtures in Spain. She is determined to win; practising hard and very happy with her progress.
In the past, Maria has worked at the Tumbulgum School as a Teachers Aid and was involved in ‘The Story Dogs’ not-for-profit organisation literacy program. ‘Story Dogs’ is based on the successful American literacy program: Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) which was launched in 1999 in Utah, USA, as the first comprehensive literacy program built around the appealing idea of children and young adolescents reading to dogs. Unfortunately,’ Maria is unable to return to school duties due to the high risk of cross contamination.
Maria would be most grateful for some financial support to assist in making it to the World Trsnsplant Games. Money raised will be used to help with airfares, accommodation, travel insurance, equipment and the Australian team uniform.
GoFundMe PAGE FOR MARIA
A GoFundMe page has been set up for people to donate to Maria’s attendance at the Games.
Let’s get behind Maria all the way and help her to achieve her goal.
TRIVIA EVENING FUNDRAISER
The Tumbulgum Community and Friends are holding a ‘Trivia Evening’ at Tumbulgum Tavern on Tuesday 28 February 2017 in honour of Maria and to help raise funds. PLEASE SAVE THE DATE
Get a table together with family and friends and make a great night of it!