THERE have been some impressive sporting milestones reached over the weekend but one of the most courageous occurred with no national fanfare and little public recognition.
On Saturday Orange heart transplant recipient Trish Kramer crossed the finish line of the three kilometre walk in the Australian Transplant Games in the far from express time of one hour and 11 minutes.
But it was a personal milestone of huge significance for Mrs Kramer who had set herself the goal of walking the course without stopping.
It has been 18 months since Mrs Kramer received a new heart and a new chance at life but like many transplant patients, receiving an organ donation was just the beginning of a long and difficult road back to health.
While the sports mad Australian public spent the long weekend celebrating grand final victories in AFL and NRL, a tragically small group of organ recipients was celebrating life in the six days of events at the transplant games in Newcastle.
It is the 13th time the Australian Transplant Games has been held and it was attended by organ recipients, donor families and living donors.
Last year 337 people were organ donors and 1001 people were recipients. This was, according to the Donate Life website, a personal best performance for recipients and donors.
Tragically, many Australians, including young people who should be at their physical peak, die before they are matched with a suitable donor and a transplant can take place.
Orange is not unfamiliar with organ donation. Orange hospital has an organ donation team and through the publicity given to organ donation by the family of the late Kaden Delaney, who died after a car accident in 2006, many of us have at least had the family discussion about organ donation.
Receiving an organ transplant is not the end of the health ordeal for recipients but many more deserve the chance to set and achieve their goals.
That can only happen if far more Australian families have the discussion about donating life.