Are you ready? The 2014 Transplant Games of America begin at the end of this week! This year they are being held in Houston, Texas.
While the competitive events at the Transplant Games are specifically for donor families and transplant recipients, the overall event is open to the general public and anyone can participate in the 5K Race/Walk (registration is still open).
About the Transplant Games
The Transplant Games of America is a yearly multi-sport event for individuals who have undergone life-saving transplant surgeries. Participants have fun competing in events that are open to living donors, organ transplant recipients, bone marrow recipients, and a limited number of corneal and tissue transplant recipients. It is more than an athletic event, it is a way to celebrate the lives of organ donors and recipients and help highlight the critical importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation.
Starting Friday, July 11th, the celebration and event begins! If you are unable to attend, you can follow along with the fun on the Transplant Games Facebook page, and learn more about watching the Opening Ceremonies online.
You Don’t Have to be a Donor Family or Transplant Recipient to Participate!
Registration for the Transplant Games 5K is still open and members of the public are encouraged to participate to show their support. The run will take place Saturday, July 12 at 8 am and starts at Sam Houston Park. To register, visit TransplantGamesofAmerica.org/registration.
Suzy Miller from Southwest Transplant Alliance - our local organ procurement organization (OPO) - said, “Under the leadership of team manager, Brian Gilliam, Team Texas has just topped 600 participants – which is the largest number ever!"
If you're going to be in Houston, stop by for the fun! You can see the full weekend schedule and learn more about volunteering at TransplantGamesofAmerica.org.
What Participants are Saying
We asked a few friends and Facebook supporters to share some thoughts on how they feel about participating, and it sounds like everyone is really excited to be a part of the event! Good luck Tina, Kim, Elise, and Taylor!
“Let's see, how do I feel going to the games? Hmm, a bit fluffy! I put on some weight since my transplant in February of 2013 (to hibernate of course), so I think that about sums it up. Ha! No but really, I'm extremely excited to be participating in my first Transplant games! Without my transplant I would be dead by now, or very close to it. I am really looking forward to meeting and competing alongside fellow recipients who refuse to let the obstacle of being a recipient hold them back… and bringing home a medal sounds pretty fun too.”
- Tina R., Double Lung Recipient
“I am a kidney recipient and have been participating in the Transplant Games for over 20 years. Games are my passion in life. They are the largest format of "show and tell" for organ recipients and donor families together to be able to show the world the positive side of organ donation. To be able to watch an individual who has had a double lung transplant swim with everything she has; then to, not only, win the gold medal but have a donor family member (maybe even her own donor family) place that medal around her neck... it's a tear jerker!!! Positive emotion and energy as over 5000 people come together to celebrate life and second chances. I am looking forward to attending the Transplant Games yet again!!! Going for the "Gold" in Houston!”
- Kim B., Kidney Recipient
“We will absolutely be there this weekend for TGA 2014 in Houston. My 2 1/2 year old daughter, Elise, will be participating in Cornhole (bean bag toss) in honor of her "donor angel," Julia. Elise received a life-saving liver transplant in March 2013 at age 17 months old. We are also thrilled for Elise and Julia's family to bowl together in the donor/recipient bowling event!!”
- Erin B., Recipient Family Member
"I'll be participating in the games this year! I also participated last year in South Africa! I will be playing for team Texas this year and have received a double lung transplant about 3 years ago. I will be participating in volleyball and bowling. It's truly an amazing thing, I had played volleyball in high school and had to give it up when I got sick. Now I have to opportunity to play again but with other amazing and inspiring people. There is no better experience than to witness and be around others who have been through your same similarities. It makes you feel that everything is going to be okay! It gives you a new perspective."
- Taylor D., Double Lung Recipient
Share Your Story!
Are You a transplant recipient, donor family, or just someone who is passionate about organ donaton? Help others understand the gift of life that organ donation provides by sharing your story for the Outlive Yourself blog!