A CITY mum suffering from a rare, progressive liver disease is in training to compete at The Westfield Health British Transplant Games when it descends on Newport.

With more than 1,000 competitors taking part in more than 25 different sports and events, the games - which will take place at venues across the city from July 25-28 - promise to be a festival of sport and life.

South Wales Argus:

Eleanor Howell, 41, received a liver transplant in 2017 after being diagnosed with a condition called Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) three years before.

“There is no cure for this condition, and I was told that I may one day need a transplant,” she explained.

“Despite managing symptoms with a controlled diet and maintaining a good level of fitness, it was decided that I should be listed for a transplant.

“I chose to delay going live on the transplant list for a few months as I was due to get married.”

On October 21, 2017, a day forever etched in her memory, Eleanor got the call to say that a donor had been matched with her and she needed to get to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham as soon as possible.

The Midlands hospital is home to the largest solid organ transplantation programme in Europe.

It will be the first time the Lliswerry Runners member has taken part in the British Transplant Games.

“I’m really excited to be part of the Welsh team,” she said.

South Wales Argus:

“It’s a good way to raise awareness of organ donation.

“I firmly believe that prior to my transplant, it was the fact I was keeping fit and active by running that kept my body working as well as it did.

“After nine weeks of trying to be as active and as mobile as I could be, I was able to walk my local Parkrun and after 12 weeks I started running again.”

In fact, 12 months post-transplant, Eleanor completed the Cardiff Half Marathon.

“I had run it in 2017 exactly two weeks before getting ‘the call’ and my goal was to be back in a similar place a year later,” she said.

The South Wales Argus is a media partner of the games, which are organised on behalf of the charity Transplant Sport UK, and Mrs Howell said that Argus coverage was among the reasons she discovered the event.

The aim of the Westfield Health British Transplant Games is to raise awareness of organ donation and encourage families to have the donation conversation.