2016 Donate Life Transplant Games of America Flag Signing
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The Donate Life Transplant Games of America is a biennial event held in the United States to recognize the tremendous accomplishments of individuals whose lives have been affected by eye, organ, and tissue donation.
More than 7,000 participants from across the United States will travel to Cleveland for the event, including Team Mid-South.
This festival-style event brings athletes, living donors, donor families, as well as members of the amazing medical community involved in transplantation together to promote awareness of the life-changing impact that donation represents today. Teams compete in a variety of sporting and non-sporting competitive events to demonstrate how their lives have been changed through the gift of life.
Bryan Lawton is a returning member of Team Mid-South and a transplant recipient. “I had a double lung transplant in 1997. This is my second transplant games. Last year I played basketball, golf and racquetball and I hope to compete again this year.”
Today, team members signed the official 2016 Donate Life Transplant Games of America flag, which is traveling across America and will be raised during the Opening Ceremony of the Games in June, 2016.
Erskine Gillespie, Community Development Coordinator for the Mid-South Transplant Foundation, says, “It’s about highlighting the fact that transplantation works. It takes people who were once so sick that they were told they were going to die and now they’ve been restored to life where they can go out and compete in an athletic activity.”
The teams compete in a variety of sports including cycling, swimming, track and field, ballroom dancing, golf, singing, basketball, poker, corn hole, etc. Special events will also take place to honor donor families.
There are currently more than 123,000 individuals on the national waiting list for an organ transplant. More than 28,000 lives are saved each year in the U.S. through organ donation. A new person is added to the waiting list every 10 minutes. Sadly, 22 people will die every day waiting for lack of available organs.
One organ donor can save as many as eight lives. A tissue donor can enhance the lives of up to 50 more. So one person can help almost 60 people.
Team Mid-South 2014 that went to the games!
Team Mid-South, comprised of local organ and transplant recipients, a living donor and a donor mom were winners at the recent Transplant Games of America (TGA) held in Houston, Texas. The team of 16 won 10 medals (6 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze). Team members’ lives have been changed and transformed as a result of their transplants. They competed in a variety of sports including cycling, swimming track and field, ballroom dancing, golf, basketball, poker, corn hole toss, etc. The TGA is a biennial event held in the U.S. to recognize the tremendous accomplishments of individuals whose lives have been affected by organ and tissue donation. Team Mid-south was sponsored by the Mid-South Transplant Foundation and in part by Methodist Transplant Institute, the Baptist Heart Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Center and other community supporters.