Team Michigan travels to Madison for 11th U.S. Transplant Games

The National Kidney Foundation is hosting the 11th biannual U.S. Transplant Games in Madison, Wisconsin from July 30 to August 4.

The six-day, Olympic-style sporting event is intended for recipients of major organ and bone marrow transplants. Each year the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan forms a team from Michigan to participate in the Games which are meant to celebrate individual success as well as the second chance at life shared by all transplant recipients. Gift of Life Michigan is Team Michigan's top sponsor and has a goal of signing up more than 1 million new organ donors in Michigan this year. More than 1,500 athletes are expected to compete in this year's Transplant Games with more than 50 athletes and 180 total supporters for Team Michigan.

In addition to recipients, living organ donors and donor families will be at the Games, attending workshops on organ and tissue donation as well as special ceremonies recognizing their contribution of life. A record-breaking 7,000 people were in attendance at the 2008 Games in Pittsburgh.

Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded in a dozen different sporting events including cycling, swimming, track and field, basketball and tennis. The event is held to increase awareness of the need for and success of organ donation and transplantation. The Games will demonstrate that transplant recipients can and do return to full, productive lives.

The Transplant Games begin with opening ceremonies and the lighting of the Games Torch, which is followed by the traditional athlete marshalling as well as a living donor and donor family special recognition. The Games conclude with Closing Ceremonies and a final celebration for athletes, donor families and living donors.

The U.S. Transplant Games have been held since 1990 to help the more than 100,000 people in the U.S. who require a life-saving organ transplant. Anyone interested in contributing to the Games can call the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan at (800) 482-1455.

The mission of the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan is to prevent kidney disease and improve the quality of life for those living with it.

Published: Mon, Jul 19, 2010