This year, more than 36 transplant recipient and living donor athletes will be competing as part Team Maryland making this year’s squad one of our biggest ever! In total, more than 100 people will be traveling from Maryland to Wisconsin this summer to either compete in the Olympic style events or cheer on Team Maryland’s transplant recipients and living donors. Everyone attending the Games will be celebrating the lives of the thousands of individuals who gave the gift of life through organ and tissue donation each year.
Up until July 31, 2010 when the Transplant Games officially open, we will be spotlighting some of the Team Maryland athletes and supporters who will be competing and cheering during this year’s games. Also, throughout the Games, we will post results, highlights and stories direct from Madison to share the experience with our hometown supporters like you. We’re excited, and I hope learning more about our team encourages you to follow us before, during and after this year’s Games.
Let me introduce you to a few of the Team Maryland athletes:
Kidney Recipient – Living donor – 2006
Competing in racquetball, table tennis, badminton and tennis
In 2005, after being treated for polycystic kidney disease and high blood pressure for more than 16 years, Phil’s doctors told him he would need a kidney transplant. Phil was lucky; five of his family members came forward and were tested to see if they matched for living kidney donation. Phil’s older brother turned out to be the best match, and one year later, in 2006, they went into surgery and Phil received a life-saving kidney transplant.
In 2008, Phil competed in his first U.S. Transplant Games in Pittsburgh. He is looking forward to competing again in racquetball, table tennis, badminton and tennis this year.
Kathleen (Kathy) Siciliano
Heart Recipient – 1992
Competing in tennis and 5K Run
In 1990, Kathy suffered a severe heart attack on Christmas Eve, damaging her left ventricle beyond repair. Her only option was to have a heart transplant. After waiting 20 months, five of which were in a hospital room at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Kathy received her heart on September 7, 1992. Because of a stranger’s gift, Kathy has been able to see her children graduate from college and celebrate many more wedding anniversaries with her husband.
At the 2008 Games held in Pittsburgh, Kathy won the silver medals in singles and mixed doubles tennis and a Bronze medal in the 5K run. She will be competing in the same events at this year’s Games and is ready to bring home some gold.
Like many of our Team Maryland athletes, Phil and Kathy both volunteer with The Living Legacy Foundation, helping to promote organ, eye and tissue donation and educating others on the importance of registering as a designated donor.
For more about Team Maryland, contact Latrice Price at 410-242-7000 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned for more Team Maryland related blogs as we begin the march to Madison – only 60 days until opening ceremonies.