A CHARITY that supports people with the disease pulmonary hypertension has announced its sponsorship of the Westfield Health British Transplant Games – which are being held in Newport this summer.

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA UK) is sponsoring the darts competition at the sporting celebration, which takes place in the city from July 25-28 .

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a serious lung and heart disease affecting just 7,000 people in the UK. There is no cure and if patients don’t respond to treatment, they may undergo a lung or heart transplant.

Iain Armstrong (below), chair of the PHA UK, said: “This is a golden opportunity to raise awareness of pulmonary hypertension as a disease, to encourage organ donation, and, just as importantly, to talk about transplantation as a potential treatment pathway for people with PH.

“We chose the event to sponsor carefully. Darts has a strong social element to it, with the added benefit of bringing people together, which is very important to us as a rare disease charity.

“We’re really excited to be supporting the British Transplant Games, which shows that what might be impossible one day, can be possible the next.”

More than 60 transplant teams from across the UK are expected to take part in the Westfield Health British Transplant Games, which are held every year.

Dan Peel (below), 26, from Reading, had a double lung transplant in February 2018 after living with pulmonary hypertension. He is competing in the Westfield Health British Transplant Games for the second year; in the golf, ball throw, javelin, shot-put and 25-metre relay events.

He said: “I wanted to prove I could get back on my feet, and I’m doing it again because it’s a great chance to catch up with my team, who became like a little family.

“Also, as a second-year competitor, it’s a good chance to see those who have had their transplants after me and to encourage them that they can also do whatever they put their minds to.

“The PHA UK sponsoring the games is an incredible opportunity to raise awareness of PH itself, as not many people know about it. It’s a great way to spread the news of what we are doing to combat it, and the journeys that people are going through and what the options are post-transplant.”

The PHA UK is also sponsoring the World Transplant Games, which take place in Newcastle in August.

Symptoms of PH typically involve breathlessness, fatigue, black-outs and swelling around the ankles, arms and stomach. PH affects the ability to carry out basic tasks and get around.

The PHA UK is based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. It is the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting the PH community; made up of patients, their family and carers, and NHS professionals.