Team Maryland, BIG winners at the 2010 U.S. Transplant Games

As you have read in earlier posts, Team Maryland ROCKED at this year’s Transplant Games.  Congratulations to all of our Team Maryland members who worked so hard to raise awareness about donation.

We had the largest Team Maryland ever this year with 41 athletes and won a team record 28 medals (gold – 6,   silver – 9, bronze – 13). Hats off to the entire team!!

Let the Games begin! Natasha Drigger (left) and Lorma Seeley (right) and the rest of Team Maryland prepare to march in the Opening Ceremony celebration - similar to the familiar Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics.

As cool as it was to see so many of our team members on the medal stand, every athlete will tell you winning was not what the Games were about. There were just as many high fives and loud cheers for the last place finishers as there were for the first place finishers. The Games were and are a celebration of life – a shining example to the world of how donation and transplantation saves lives.

As a wrap up to the Games, here are some thoughts about the spirit of the Games shared by a few of our Team Maryland athletes:

Eric and the team celebrate the Games during a well deserved team social

Eric Bredehoft, kidney recipient, competed in the 5K run, men’s singles and doubles bowling
“This is my ninth games and this year I finally won a medal, a silver in the men’s doubles bowling. It was great to win, but it is much more important to enjoy the other recipients, and have the chance to thank donor families for the gift of life. That is what these games are really about.”

Hilary's family cheers her on during the swimming competition

Hilary Hoagwood, liver recipient, competed in swimming and tennis
“The Games remind me that I am part of something much greater than myself. I look around and I see so many healthy people and realize they would not be alive if not for the generosity of other people. They humble me and remind me to always be grateful.”

Rick Bounds purchased an RV, placed Donate Life decals all over it and is spending the summer driving across country. One of his stops was the U.S. Transplant Games in Madison.

Rick Bounds, liver and kidney recipient, first year Team Maryland member competed in the 5K run, 5K cycling, triathlon and swimming

“To me, it has been spectacular to see people from all over the country celebrating the same love for life I feel.   People have come up to me to say I am an inspiration to them. But for me, Marty, my donor and his wife, Dorothy, are my inspiration. I am here to honor them. They are the true heroes.“

Jose, his wife Jody and son, Ilan.

Jose Vargas, heart recipient, first year Team Maryland member competed in 5K run, swimming and track and field

“Competing was fun, but just being able to participate was amazing. Being part of the Transplant Games means a lot to me and my family. I am alive today because of someone’s gift of donation. My son Ilan would not be here either if I hadn’t received my heart transplant.”

The Transplant Games are about celebrating life and no group did that better than Team Maryland. Every member of Team Maryland deserves a big round of applause. You are all winners.

Team Maryland - 2010 U.S. Transplant Games

Below is all of Team Maryland medal winners:

Emily Biondi: bronze-5k, bronze-discus, silver-long jump, gold-high jump
Hilary Hoagwood: bronze-100m swimming, bronze-50m breaststroke (swimming), bronze-singles tennis
Mike Gahagen: silver-100m swimming, silver-50m breaststroke, bronze 50m backstroke
Athena Shry: gold-racquetball, silver- 1500 walk race, gold -100m track
Eric Bredehoft: silver-men’s singles bowling, silver-men’s doubles bowling
George Franklin: silver-men’s doubles bowling
Essie Wilson: bronze-women’s doubles bowling
Kathy Langston: bronze-women’s doubles bowling
Tracey Serpa: bronze-women’s doubles bowling
Hae Young Kim: bronze-women’s doubles bowling
Jose Vargas: silver, men’s 50m backstroke
Olivia Strama: bronze-softball throw, silver-25m run, bronze-long jump, gold- bowling
Kathy Siciliano: silver-women’s singles tennis
Roy DeGrange: gold-badminton
George Montgomery: bronze-1500m run
Sharon Masters: gold, women’s golf
Marilyn Zuckerman: bronze-100m run, bronze- softball throw

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