The 2012 Transplant Games of America are finally here! From July 27th – August 1st, Team Maryland, comprised of twenty-nine transplant recipients, living donors, and donor family members will travel to Grand Rapids, MI to represent Maryland as they compete in Olympic-style events. Like the Team Maryland Facebook page to stay updated on their progress at the games.
Between now and July 27th, we will be posting bios of some of our Team Maryland athletes. We hope you enjoy getting to know them a little better!
Name: Charles Cranford
Hometown: Shenandoah Jct., WV
2012 Transplant Games Event(s): Swimming, Bowling, Golf, Volleyball
Charles Cranford received a kidney transplant on 2/3/2011 as the result of a successful 6-person living kidney swap at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. When Charles learned he was in kidney failure, his wife was willing to donate one of her kidneys to him. Although she was not a medical match for Charles, she decided to donate her kidney as part of the swap so he could receive a transplant. “The most profound impact donation has had on my life is that I have a second chance at having a ‘normal life.’ I’m so joyful for the gift of life,” says Charles.
When asked about his feelings about attending the Transplant Games, he replied, “I’m beyond excited and profoundly grateful that I can participate in the Games. As a relatively new transplant recipient, I never expected I would be able to participate as an athlete so soon.”
Name: Hilary Hoagwood
Hometown: Odenton, MD
2012 Transplant Games Event(s): Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball
Hilary received a liver transplant on 7/20/1996, and then a second liver transplant on 3/1/2001 at the Dallas/Baylor University Medical Center. “The summer following ninth grade, my parents and I went to Texas for a vacation. While on vacation, I became sick with what seemed like the flu. I took a nap in a hotel room in Austin and woke up, over a week later, in the hospital in Dallas with a new liver,” says Hilary of her first liver transplant.
Three years after her first transplant, Hilary’s hepatic artery stopped functioning and caused her to need a second liver transplant. Hilary has met her second liver donor’s family. She continues to correspond with them and considers them to be part of her own family and they have attended past Games events to cheer her on. “The Games are a constant motivator for me to maintain optimal health,” says Hilary.
When asked how transplantation has affected her life, Hilary says: “Being a transplant recipient has changed my overall perspective on life in many ways. I used to live in the future, and now I live in the present. I make decisions about my education, my work, and activities with the knowledge that life is short, and it is important to enjoy and embrace each day. I make a conscious effort to forgive and to let people know I care about them. My transplant is also a ‘go-to’ reason to be grateful and happy. Whatever stress or problem I face, I can remind myself of what is most important—that I am alive and have a wonderful group of friends and family with whom to share my life.”
Name: Jim Mozingo
Hometown: Gaithersburg, MD
2012 Transplant Games Event(s): Basketball, Table Tennis, Golf
Jim received a kidneytransplant on 5/8/2006 at The Johns Hopkins Hospital after being diagnosed with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, a degenerative kidney disease. After a routine stress test, it was determined Jim would also need double pass surgery before he could be considered for a kidney transplant. “There are more than 114,000 people in the US on the organ waiting list and, unfortunately, the number grows each day. The Transplant Games’ mission is to spread the word about the important need for organ donation,” says Jim. “As a transplant recipient, I get to show the world that having a transplant is a second chance at life.”
Jim is married with two daughters ages 20 and 8. He volunteers at his church and coaches his daughter’s little league team.
Name: George Franklin
Hometown: Cumberland, MD
2012 Transplant Games Event(s): Bowling, Swimming, Volleyball
George received two kidney transplants at the George Washington University Medical Center within the same year (1975) after going into renal failure. Since then, he has lived nearly 37 years with his new kidney and has been very active in the transplant community. George serves as a mentor to other recipients, as well as an enthusiastic spokesperson for the cause in which he owes his life. The Transplant Games has proven to be very meaningful to George for many reasons.
“It’s hard for me, after so many Games, to express my feeling about them,” he says. “They have been life sustaining, as I look forward to their happening every other year. I look forward to the new friends I will make from all over the nation at each Games.”
He says of his transplant: “Thirty seven years can be a lifetime for many, and if I were to die tomorrow, I’d feel I owed my entire life to my kidney donor.”