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World Transplant Games

Dawn's diary

Friday, August 28

OK, so the tennis didn’t go so well, but I didn’t do well because I was in extensive pain from my ankle! I, unfortunately, came dead last in tennis.

That night was the special Sea World dinner. The show was amazing!! We got to watch the dolphins do all sorts of tricks, which included jumps and pushing people around the pool. Some of the rides at the park were open for us to use at our desire… of course I did not go on the rides, but I heard it was good. I was busy looking at some of the other animals at the park, which included getting a chance to pet a sting ray and see sharks. It made for an incredible evening!

Wednesday, I had a day off so my family and I went up to the rainforest. We went to several different lookouts and a two-hour hike through the forest where we got to go under a couple of water falls. We got to go up stairs that were actually stone.

Thursday, I had another day off so my family and I went to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, where we got to see several of the different animals around Australia. We got to see a BIG crocodile. It was longer then how tall I am…by like a foot. We got to see/pet/feed the kangaroo’s, which are very soft. We got to hold and take a picture with a Koala, which are actually coarse, not soft. We got to watch a couple of shows, one of which was just general animals and we got to pet a possum and at the other show we got our picture taken with a wedge-tailed eagle.

Today (Friday), I ran the 100-m and I did ball throw. I did not do well at the ball throw. At the 100-m, I ran my heart out, but because of my injury, I was unable to do very well. I was supposed to do the relay, but I was sent back early because my injury was too extensive. In general, Team Canada has done well, with about 10 more medals won!

Tomorrow is another Athletics day. I plan to go for a little while, but I’m not running… actually, I’m not competing! It’s also the night of the gala. I’m very excited!


Sunday, August 23

I couldn’t believe it! Last night was the Opening Ceremony, 45 countries, over 1,000 competitors and a beautiful room!!! During the Ceremony, I was looking after two little kids; I volunteered of course; and had to run after them a few times; not as bad as it sounds; all I missed were a few speeches and some shows. It started with an amazing dance and amazing singing ability! We got to hear the song that was especially written for the Transplant Games entitled ‘Our Victory’ by Tania Doko. It was absolutely AMAZING! After some speeches, we had some Opera singing and normal singing, Highland Dancing and an amazing Youth Choir.

Today, my personally dream came true! I played on the Canadian Volleyball Team!! Although we were unable to hold onto our defending title, we played well enough to take 6th place out of 9; for a team that had never played together, we did well!

So far, in two days of competition; Team Canada has 3 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 2 bronze!!!! Don’t forget to keep rooting for us back home!!!

Also, tonight I had my ankle all taped up, someone told me to run in sandals, on hard concrete, and well, my ankles aren’t nearly as strong as they use to be…the right one is sprained.
We had lots of fun today, and I’ll let you know how Tennis goes tomorrow!!!


Saturday, August 22

I can’t believe it!!! We’re finally here!!! We’ve been here now three days and it’s absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!! We’re staying in a condo that overlooks the ocean!

The competition starts tomorrow starting with the 3 and 5 K races, but instead of going to cheer on my teammates, I’ll be practicing!! I’ve been lucky enough to make the Canadian Transplant Volleyball Team, and first day is tomorrow!!

We’re all having a blast and I can’t wait for the competition to begin!!!

Wednesday, August 12

It seemed like only yesterday that I was representing Ontario in the National Transplant Games and now, in a matter of six days, I’m going to Gold Coast, Australia to represent Canada in the International Transplant Games.
For those of you out there that don’t know who I am, I’m Dawn Oldnall! I’m currently 18 years old. I was given the gift of life on March 25 2007. My gift was a double lung transplant! I went from being someone with 19% lung function to having 68% in a matter of two months.

There is nothing better then to write something to express how I feel about these games. These games have had me excited since I was in ICU at TGH, when my transplant nurse at the time came and told me about the games for the first time and gave me the opportunity to be on the Ontario, and Canadian team! I was ecstatic and worked until I was able to win!

These games give us the opportunity to show what we can do. That we are just as normal as any other person. It also gives us the opportunity to prove organ donation works, and that everyone deserves a chance to live! There are several people I know that never got a chance to be a child properly because they had to deal with their illness since they were little. I’m not going to lie, it’s hard enough to go through the illness when you remember what it’s like to be a normal child, but to not know what it’s like to be a child, I could never imagine!

I’m very excited to see people I haven’t seen since the National Transplant Games and to spend time with friends I don’t see very often. It’s exciting to be able to spend time in Australia with some of the most amazing people I know! I’m excited to see what the competition will be like there too! I’m excited to meet people from all over the world and make new friendships that will last a lifetime!!

Until next time, keep having fun, keep exercising and keep routing for the Canadian Team while we’re gone!