FHLTA competitor Rachel Hooley with the Nicholas Cup award.
Rachel was asked by Lynn Holt Freeman’s transplant coordinator to participate in the Nicholas Cup. The Nicholas cup runs along side the World Winter which was held in La Chapelle d’Abondance in France.
Transplanted children from around the world are invited to a week of fun on the snow, learning to ski, mixing with other transplanted children and compete for the Nicholas Cup.
The Nicholas Cup was founded in memory of Nicholas Green, a young American boy who was killed in Italy and whose family donated his organs for the benefit of others.
On Sunday the 12th January Rachel set of to France with the GB World winter Transplant team.
All the children that where participating in the Nicholas cup had under gone life saving transplant, and were now living there life’s to the full, Flying the flag for Organ Donation.
During the run up to the Nicholas Cup, Rachel had skiing lessons every day, and for a child that has a low immunity to infection (she has weekly subcut infusions to boost this ) and gets very cold, she did very well and managed to stay up right for some of the time.
Rachel did like to keep a tight hold of the skiing instructor. Who was a wonderful man and had so much patients and time.
But as the week progressed Rachel’s confidence began to sore and she started to let go of the Jack her instructor and keep her body up right, falling over less and skiing by herself.
Rachel got to participate and have fun in a dog sledge ; she loved being pulled along by the huskies. These memories will remain with Rachel though the roller coast ride of the transplant world.
Rachel carrying the torch at opening ceremony.
On Thursday evening the Nicholas Cup took place. Rachel finally got a chance to put what she had learnt into practice and ski down the slalom.
Rachel said ” I felt very nervous as I stood at the top, but just wanted to give it a go”
Rachel fell over on her first slalom, but on her second she managed to stay up right and clock a time of 39.31 putting her into 5th position.
Rachel was so happy with this and was awarded a medal for participating in the Slalom.
But the best was yet to come during the closing Ceremony , Rachel was awarded the ‘NICHOLAS CUP’. The Jury’s chose Rachel as she had shown progression, effort, perseverance, and the will to succeed in her own personal challenge. The whole GB team where cheering her on.
The look on Rachel’s face when she won the Nicholas Cup was amazing with the gratitude she has for her donor and donor family. Who without ,Rachel would not be with us today.
Rachel is a true inspiration to all that know her, she is determined to live her life to the full. To promote organ donation and encourage more people to join the organ donor register.
She makes us proud every day.
We would like to say a MASSIVE thank you to the FHLA especially Derek and CHUF for funding Rachel and her daddy Michael to attend the Nicholas cup. Also Lynn Holt for thinking of Rachel and asking her to attend, she is one boss lady. It has meant so much to them both.
The memories that this has given Rachel will help her through the hard times.
The trip gave Rachel the opportunity to mix with adults and children who have been through similar experience, but most importantly have FUN and experience many different snow activities.
Written by Rachel’s Mum – Eve Hooley