2018 DonateLife Transplant Games

Team ARIZONA Members Participate in Nation-Wide Flag Signing – Official Donate Life Transplant Games Flag to be Presented and Signed By Transplant Recipients

Tucson – On Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, members of Transplant Team Arizona, Donor Network of Arizona and organ donor family members will gather together to celebrate the countdown to the 2018 Donate Life Transplant Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.  The Flag signing will take place at noon on Sunday, Feb. 25, at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park in Tucson.  The park was created in honor of Brandi Fenton, a 13 year old girl, who saved multiple lives when her organs were donated after she died in an automobile accident in 2003.  Much of the funding for the park came from the Brandi Fenton Memorial Foundation established by the Fenton family.

Among the athletes signing will be World and U.S. Transplant Games record holder, Dianne Miller.  A Tucson resident, Dianne has set 17 records at both the Donate Life U.S Transplant Games, and the World Transplant Games.  She has won in excess of 30 medals in previous games competitions.  Also in attendance will be other Transplant Games participants, and members of Donate Life Arizona.

The official flag of the Games will travel across the country for signatures from the more than 40 participating teams. The flag will come back to Salt Lake City where it will fly during the Opening Ceremonies of the 2018 Donate Life U.S. Transplant Games.

Every two years, the Donate Life Transplant Games® brings together organ, eye, tissue and bone marrow recipients; living donors; donor families; and donation and transplant professionals to celebrate the success of transplantation; honor the lasting legacy of donors; provide hope to those who continue to wait; and promote donor registration. The Donate Life Transplant Games®, produced by the Transplant Life Foundation, is a multi-sport festival event with more than 6,000 participants from across the United States who will travel to Salt Lake City for the six day event this summer. Competitions include track and field events, swimming, cycling, volleyball, bowling, basketball, tennis, table tennis and four new non-traditional events, ballroom dancing, corn hole (bean bag toss), Texas Hold-em Poker, and a trivia challenge.  A 5K “Walk and Run” will launch the events with a 5K race to promote the need for more organ donors and honor donor families, living donors, and recipients.

Participants competing in medal events have either received an organ, corneal, bone marrow, or tissue transplant or are a living donor. Donor family members will also travel to the Games to show support for athletes and celebrate the lives of their loved ones. The Transplant Games will take place in Salt Lake City, August 2-7, 2018.  Teams from virtually every state compete in a variety of sporting and non-sport competitive events to demonstrate how their lives have been changed through the gift of life as a result of organ, eye, and tissue donation.

 For more information contact:  Ben Wilson, Team Manager, Transplant Team Arizona 480-544-8676 Ben@Transplantteamaz.org

Arizona organ recipient athletes prep for Transplant Games

Flag signing at Encanto Park

PHOENIX – While many watch the 2018 Winter Olympics Games, another group of champions in the Valley is training for a unique competition—the Donate Life Transplant Games of America.

On Feb. 24, 2018, Transplant Team Arizona will be a part of the Transplant Games flag tour at the Encanto Park Sports Complex at 12:00 p.m. Athletes will train in different sports and sign the flag to mark their participation in the competition which is a tribute to how organ donation has shaped their lives.

This year Randy Shepherd, 43, will compete for first time. He says the person who donated their heart to him will be on his mind the whole time.

“I’ve always got a little prayer of gratitude in the back of my head for everything I do,” Shepherd says about his donor more than three years after getting his gift of life.

The married father of three was on the waiting list for six years—with congestive heart failure, and an artificial heart by 2014. Now, he hikes, he rides bikes, he plays baseball and basketball. On tough days, his wife encourages him by saying, “Isn’t it awesome to be this exhausted?” It’s a reminder that, at one point, he couldn’t even walk himself to the bathroom.

Twenty-five Arizona athletes will compete in the Transplant Games of America in Salt Lake City. The Donate Life Transplant Games is a multi-sport festival event for people who have received lifesaving organ, tissue and bone marrow transplants or for living donors. It highlights the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation.

More information can be found at www.transplantgamesofamerica.org.

Arizonans can sign up as donors when they apply for or renew their driver’s license or ID at the MVD. They can also register online at DonateLifeAZ.org or by calling 1-800-94-DONOR.

If you are unfamiliar with the Games, read about the guidelines for participation on their website.

August 2 -7, 2018

What are the Games?

The games are a multi-sport festival event to help promote the need for Organ & Tissue donation. The purpose is to show the world that transplantation is a treatment that does indeed work.  As a participant, you get to show the world that having a transplant is a second chance at life.

Who can compete?

To participate as an athlete, you must meet the Division One or Division Two requirements:

Division One requirements: You have received a life-altering solid organ transplant
Division Two requirements: You are a living donor, tissue, cornea, or bone marrow transplant recipient

Other Requirements:

  • Transplant has occurred at least 9 months prior to the start of the games
  • You are in healthy condition
  • Your doctor has signed a medical waiver allowing you to participate
  • You have signed a form stating that you meet all the above requirements

You must become a member of Transplant Team of Arizona to compete.  Go to http://www.transplantteamaz.org/membership-page/ to apply for membership.

More Information

Always check the Transplant Games’ website http://www.transplantgamesofamerica.org for updated information on qualifications, registration, and more!  You can also find results and photos from 2016 and 2017.

Click here for Transplant Team Arizona membership!