Starting Friday, July 30 Madison will be the home to the 2010 U.S. Transplant Games®, organized by the National Kidney Foundation. The city will be abuzz with thousands of people from across the country, including transplant recipients, living donors, donor families, transplant professionals and friends and family members, gathered to celebrate the lives touched by organ donation and transplantation.
The Olympic-style competition is held every two years in locations around the country. The competitive events include golf, basketball, swimming, bowling, racquetball, table tennis, cycling, tennis and much more! The games also have opening and closing ceremonies and a 5k Race that everyone is invited to participate in.
However, the U.S. Transplant Games are more than just a sporting event. As the single largest event promoting organ, eye and tissue donation, the Games serve to foster the health and fitness of its participants, while showcasing the success of transplantation, highlighting the vital need for more organ and tissue donors, and honoring donors and donor families.
You can follow the games along with the Sweere family. Rece Sweere was born with severe dilated cardiomyopathy in 2001. After being transported here to Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Rece received a heart transplant at only 11 days old. Now a healthy and active child, Rece and his family will be participating in the Transplant Games. We will continue posting as they update their family’s blog throughout their experiences at the games. Check out their family blog here.
-Tom Demski, Transplant Services Manager, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.