Maryland Transplant Recipients Attend World Transplant Games in South Africa
By Lisa McAllister
The Living Legacy Foundation prides itself on being involved in our donor and recipients lives well after surgery. One way we stay connected to recipients is through our participation with the World Transplant Games and the Transplant Games of America.
The 2013 World Transplant Games were held from July 28th – August 4th in Durban, South Africa. Recipients who have received life-saving organ transplants from more than 55 countries worldwide competed in various sports in the hopes of winning Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for their country! The Games celebrated the triumph of the human spirit and the hope that is behind every transplant.
Mike Butler, a dedicated Living Legacy volunteer and kidney/pancreas recipient from Hagerstown Maryland, traveled to South Africa to compete in the 2013 World Transplant Games this year.
He shared some of his photos with us! To view more, please visit our album on our Facebook page! Kerry Murphy, a heart recipient from Eldersburg and Hilary Hoagwood, a two time liver recipient from Odenton, also attended the games.
Mike, a veteran of three World Games now, says that he really enjoys the competition that the World Games provides. “You compete against the best transplant athletes in the world. We share stories, laughs and some tears. Getting to meet new and wonderful friends, and reacquaint with the old friends is wonderful. We also talk about how transplantation works in other countries. But most of all, what I do at the Games, in the public, and in my life is the most important. I carry ‘Kelly’s spirit’ (my donor), on in everything I do in life, taking full advantage of my second chance.”
Although Mike didn’t win a medal in this year’s Games, he did place fourth in the men’s discus and fifth in the men’s javelin. He also participated in the shot put, lawn bowling, and is a member of the Team USA volleyball team.
Kerry won a bronze medal in the women’s cricket ball throw. She is a member of the bronze medal women’s 4×100 and 4×400 meter relay teams in track and field securing a total of three bronze medals! She also participated in the 5k run, shot put, discus, and 100 meter dash.
Hilary won a silver medal in the 50 meter butterfly and 100 meter breaststroke. She also swam the 100 meter freestyle, and is a member of the freestyle relay team in swimming. She won a bronze medal in women’s singles tennis. She also participated in the 100 meter dash. Hilary received a total of 2 silver medals, and 1 bronze medal!
The World Transplant Summer Games embrace all ages; anyone from 4 to 80 years old who qualifies is welcome to participate. There are more than 50 events to suit all capabilities including Track & Field events, Cycling, Road Races, Swimming, Golf, Tennis, Table-tennis, Badminton, Squash, Lawn bowls, Volleyball, Petanque & Tenpin Bowling. The athletic standards at Summer Games is high. The 100-metres has a competition record of 11.18 seconds and the long jump 6.85-metres.
Results have been tallied and Team USA finished second in the medal count behind United Kingdom/Northern Ireland. Team USA won a total of 85 medals in these games. Way to go Team USA!
For more information about the World Transplant Games, visit http://www.wtg2013.com/index.htm
The LLF is even more involved with Transplant Games of America which takes place in Houston in July 2014. Like the World Transplant Games, the Transplant Games of America is a multi-sport festival event for athletes who have undergone life-saving transplant surgeries and living donors. Team Maryland is already fundraising and having monthly meetings to prepare for the 2014 games and hope to increase its team members for all sports. All ages are welcome! If you are interested in signing up for Team Maryland, please contact the Team Maryland Manager, Latrice Price at firstname.lastname@example.org
Go Team Maryland!