Houston-Area Residents to Participate in 2014 Transplant Games of America
Organ, eye & tissue transplant recipients and donor families gather for a unique celebration of life
Houston, Texas – July 9, 2014 – The 2014 Donate Life Transplant Games of America is already setting records. Coming to Houston July 11-15, this year’s Transplant Games of America (TGA) will host 3,000 participants, the largest number of in the event’s 22-year history, including more than 700 from the state of Texas.
Participants in this sports festival-style event are individuals whose lives have been affected by organ, eye and tissue donation. Together with family, friends, donor families and medical professionals, transplant recipients and living donors will compete in a variety of events, celebrate the lifesaving gift of donation and promote the importance of choosing donation by registering at www.donatelife.net.
The following participants will represent the Houston area during the event:
Elise Babin, liver transplant recipient
Hometown: Friendswood, Texas
Contact information: Mom is Erin Babin; firstname.lastname@example.org;
TGA Events: Cornhole (i.e. Bean bag toss), Donor/Recipient Bowling, TGA Quilt Pinning
Experience highlights: Elise was born with biliary atresia and her only hope for survival was a liver transplant. She received a lifesaving transplant in March 2013. She and her family are forever grateful for Julia, Elise’s “donor angel.” Elise will turn 3 in October and this will be her first Transplant Games.
“We are proud that Elise will be participating in the Transplant Games of America in honor of Julia, the organ donor who saved her life,” said Erin Babin, Elise’s mom. “By making the decision to be an organ donor, Julie not only restored Elise’s life, but her quality of life. We do not take a single moment for granted as we watch Elise enjoy new experiences every day. We consider Julia’s family a part of her own family, and we are blessed with the opportunity to come together with them this weekend to celebrate organ donation, the ‘gift of life.’”
Andrea “Andi” Sonpon
Hometown: Philadelphia (converted Houstonian)
Contact information: email@example.com
TGA Events: Swing out dancing
Experience highlights: Received liver transplant in Oct. 2013 as a result of sarcoidosis of the liver, which she suffered with for 20 years.
“The Transplant Games represent a celebration of life – my second chance at life,” said Andi. “I will merge my new life with a piece of my old life. I’ve always loved to dance, but when I became sick, I was not able to. The night before my transplant surgery, I had hours to think about life and wished I could dance one more time. My wish will come true during these Games. I will be able to dance again!”
A complete TGA schedule is available at www.TransplantGamesofAmerica.org. Special events at the TGA include ceremonies for donor family members and a dinner for 25+ year transplant recipients. TGA competition events and medaling events include the following:
|Badminton||Golf||Track & Field|
|Basketball||Poker (Texas Hold ‘em)||Trivia|
|Bowling||Swimming||Cornhole (Bean bag toss)|
“This event is all about the hope donation and transplantation offer,” said Kevin Myer, president and CEO of LifeGift, a Donate Life organization. “It’s about the hope held by more than 122,000 Americans currently waiting for a transplant. It’s about the hope donation can give to a family grieving the loss of a loved one. It’s about all the precious moments a transplant recipient will have because someone joined the Donate Life donor registry and decided to leave a legacy of life and hope.”
Donate Life Texas invites community members to join the organ donor registry at www.DonateLifeTexas.org and to watch for updates and photos from the Games via social media on the TGA and the LifeGift Facebook and Twitter pages and through the official hashtag: #TGAHouston.
About the Donate Life Transplant Games of America
The Transplant Games of America (TGA) is a multi-sport festival event for individuals who have undergone life-saving transplant surgeries. Competition events are open to living donors, organ transplant recipients, bone marrow recipients, and a limited number of corneal and tissue transplant recipients. More than an athletic event, the Transplant Games of America highlight the critical importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation, while celebrating the lives of organ donors and recipients. More at TransplantGamesofAmerica.org.
Events of the 2014 TGA are being facilitated by the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority and Houston’s Local Organizing Committee.
About Donate Life Texas
The Donate Life Texas organ donor registry started in 2006 and celebrated its 5 millionth registration in early 2014, making it among the fastest growing registries in the country.
Signing up is fast and easy at DonateLifeTexas.org and provides a way for individuals to make their wish to be an organ, eye and tissue donor known. It also provides legal, first-person authorization for organs to be donated upon death, which removes the burden of decision-making from the family during an already difficult time.
Donate Life Texas is part of the Donate Life America not-for-profit alliance of national organizations and local partners across the United States, serving as a national voice and inspiring all people to save and enhance lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.