It is a story of bravery and determination for one Ossett churchgoer who despite all the odds joined the World’s Coal Carrying Competition on Easter Monday – just to show she can.
For, just days before her 11th birthday Gabrielle Oldroyd underwent a lifesaving kidney transplant. Gabrielle, now aged 19, and a member of Ossett Trinity, first became poorly aged 7 in 2005 and was diagnosed with Lupus Nephritis in the March and later, Wilsons Disease also.
This meant regular monthly visits to the hospital to keep a check on her kidney functions but by late 2007, her kidneys had deteriorated so badly, she needed a donor and then in January 2008 her kidneys completely failed and she was on a ten hour cycle of dialysis at home every night .She was fortunate enough to receive a kidney from a deceased donor in September 2008, 4 days before her 11th birthday - pictured right after her transplant.
And on Monday she joined competitors from around the globe to raise awareness of her condition, raise much needed funds for Lupus and – to show that regardless of your health or fitness, anything is possible.
Said Gabrielle: “My point of competing in the Coal Carrying Championship was to prove that no matter what the health status of a person is or how fit they are, anything is possible if you have the correct mind set and determination to reach your goal. I never back down from a challenge and completing the event in Easter Monday was a major achievement to say the least. ”
You can support Gabrielle by going to her justgiving page here:
The World Coal Race in Gawthorpe and the Gawthorpe's Maypole are the biggest events for the local community of Ossett and Gawthorpe in the Wakefield Area and Trinity Church and its members has a long history and association with them both.
The vicar of Ossett Trinity, Revd Clive Hicks said the church offered significant people resources and skills to support the planning and delivery of them.
Church member and leader for both the community events, Duncan Smith said: “Our events are more than just a tradition – they are the very lifeblood of our community and the church is at the heart of them both."
This year’s Coal Carrying competition attracted competitors for Scotland and Ireland and from around the world again this year, with two competitors from the USA and one from Norway. In addition to the main adult races, around 100 children and young people took part in 'Coal Race Fun Runs' on the morning of the event.