Exmouth: triple organ transplant survivor’s adventure of a lifetime
PUBLISHED: 08:00 26 December 2017
Tineke Dixon, age 46, from Exmouth, was born with a hole in her heart, relied on a wheelchair and survived heart, lung and kidney transplants.
She hopes her Tall Ship sailing expedition in the Southern Hemisphere will highlight awareness of organ donation and transplant success, while raising funds for a trio of charities who have supported her throughout her life.
A triple organ transplant survivor from Exmouth is gearing up for an adventure of a lifetime, sailing around Cape Horn in a 46-day Tall Ship challenge.
Tineke Dixon, age 46, was born with a hole in her heart, has relied on a wheelchair and survived heart, lung and kidney transplants.
She hopes her sailing expedition in the Southern Hemisphere will highlight awareness of organ donation and transplant success, while raising funds for a trio of charities who have supported her throughout her life.
Keen sailor Tineke is aiming to raise £5,200 - to match the nautical miles of the trip - for Heartline, a charity supporting families of children born with heart conditions; the Somerville Foundation, for children with heart conditions as they grow up through adolescence, and the Papworth Hospital Charity, a cause supporting the research and the care of patients treated at Papworth Hospital’s cardio-thoracic centre.
Tineke had a heart and lung transplant in 1988; some 10 years later she had a kidney transplant, donated by her mum.
Tineke, a programme manager with South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust, said: “I used to be quite an adventurous person but sometimes the more mundane things in life take over.
“With the 30-year anniversary since my first transplant on the horizon, I felt a bit of wanderlust setting in.
“With my love of sailing and desire to help the charities who helped me so much, I felt the need to reaffirm a few things and go completely overboard.”
She added: “I want the world to know how fantastic transplantation is. In the early days it was a bit experimental, but now donating an organ can be donating a lifetime, even more valuable than back then. I want to celebrate how blummin’ amazing this has been for me and to raise money for my three chosen charities as a thank you for the essential support I received at different stages in my life.
“I want to ensure that others coming after me have access to the support that gets us from the cosseting of paediatric care into the self-determination of adult life.”
Tineke will sail on Tenacious, the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s tall ship, travelling 5,200 nautical miles over 46 days with a crew of able-bodied and disabled sailors.
She leaves Auckland, New Zealand, on January 11, 2018, to sail through the Southern Ocean around Cape Horn, arriving in Stanley, in the Falkland Islands.
Tineke said: “I am getting nervous about the trip now that all the details have been finalised. I have never been at sea for such a long period of time and I won’t have met any of the other crew until I see them on the deck in Auckland.
“But I have an adventurous spirit, just like my fantastic mum, and I know that it will be a really exciting and rewarding time, too.
“This is going to be an arduous trip, not for the faint-hearted, but I can’t wait.”
To donate, visit Tineke’s Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/CapeHorn