World awaits for teenager Nick

Published 6:00am 6 June 2024

World awaits for teenager Nick
Words by Nick Crockford

Samford’s Nick De Bonis is the youngest player in Australia’s team for the first Transplant Football World Cup, being held in Italy.

The 17-year-old will fly to Cervia, near San Marino on the Adriatic coast, for the September 8-14 tournament, which will follow the FIFA World Cup format.

It will be a cry from the day when, just three months old, Nick was diagnosed with biliary atresia (blocked ducts inside and outside the liver).

He spent the next nine months fighting for life until his parents received the call that a suitable liver had been found.

Thanks to that gift of life, the Samford Valley resident has grown up without limitations.

He is a football fanatic, starting in the juniors at Samford Rangers and now with North Star's Under 18 Academy, Padua College ... and soon his country. 

To support Nick’s fundraising for the trip click here.

“For me, competing for Australia at the Transplant World Cup is massive,” Nick says, “it is an honour to represent my country and compete for a trophy.

“I’m most looking forward to getting to know my teammates. We have all been through a similar experience and it will be amazing to compete alongside them.”

Nick has no memory of life before his transplant but hopes competing at the Transplant Football World Cup will make his donor proud.

“I hope competing will bring awareness to organ donation and transplantation,” he says, “I also hope my journey can inspire people and show what life can be like post-transplant.”

The seven-a-side Transplant Football World Cup was started by the World Transplant Games Federation as a new international event for transplant footballers.

Teams composed of heart, lung, liver, kidney, pancreas, and bone marrow recipients will come together for a week-long celebration of the gift of life in Italy.

Participation at the Transplant Football World Cup is self-funded. To help Nick on his journey click here.

There are currently 1800 Australians waiting for a life-saving transplant. To register as an organ and tissue donor, click here.

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