The 2016 Donate Life Transplant Games of America is set to take off this weekend with over 6,000 participants traveling to Cleveland. After winning the bid for the games in April of 2014, the Sports Commission, Lifebanc and Eversight Ohio have been preparing to host the event. The event is expected to generate over $8 million of economic activity and bring important attention to the vital cause of organ donation and transplantation.
The Transplant Games is a multi-sport festival event for individuals who have undergone life-saving transplant surgeries. Competition events are open to organ transplant recipients, living donors, bone marrow recipients, and corneal and tissue transplant recipients. More than an athletic event, the Transplant Games highlight the critical importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation, while celebrating the lives of organ donors and recipients and increasing donor registry levels.
A Few Stories of the Many Inspiring Athletes Who Will be Competing
Rick Lilly from Clearfield, Utah has been through 33 surgeries and two kidney transplants since he was just two years old. Now at 37 years old, Rick will be competing in Bowling at the Transplant Games.
Walter Lane is a 75 year old local participant from Warrensville Heights, Ohio. He received a kidney from his son 34 years ago and is set to compete in track and swimming in the games. Walter has participated in many games including the world games in Innsbruck, Austria.
Riley Speck of Lexington, Kentucky received a heart transplant for his restrictive cardiomyopathy condition. Now 11 years old, he will be competing his fourth Transplant games in the basketball events.
In May of 2014, Megan Kellogg donated a kidney to her sister Sarah Kellogg. The two sisters, Sarah from Pittsburgh and Megan from Kentucky, will be competing together in the 2016 Transplant Games in the running events.
The opening ceremony of the games will be held this Saturday, June 11th at Public Auditorium. Marking the official beginning of the games, the ceremony will feature live entertainment, high flyers from Thriller BMX, and touching moments from recipients and donor families. The activities will start at 7:30 PM. For more specific information regarding the event visit www.transplantgamesofamerica.org.