As I write, Houston is in the middle of hosting the 2014 Transplant Games of America. This exciting event runs from July 11-July 15, 2014. The games is a "multi-sport event for individuals who have undergone life-saving transplant surgeries." It is open to both organ recipients and living donors. It is not just a sporting event, but also an event to help raise awareness of the importance and need of organ donation.
This is an exciting event for many participants because, like how we worried about my daughter, family members often wonder if that life-saving surgery will ever happen. You try hard not to lose hope, but as the days tick away and your family member gets more sick, you begin to get more worried. Many do get the surgery they need, but too many do not.Just this year a special friend in my community lost his life waiting for a much needed organ. For those who are lucky enough to receive an organ, it is miraculous to participate in an event such as the Transplant Games. For my daughter, she missed many normal "kid events" when she was sick. A doctor once shook his head as he was giving her an IV and said, "These kids should be out on the playground. Not in here." And now, thanks to my daughter's donor, she is participating in the biggest playground event in her life. This is what organ donation does.
The games happen every two years, and this is the first for my daughter. We don't know who her donor was due to privacy concerns, but nevertheless, she is running in that person's honor. For if that person's family never made the decision to donate, my daughter may not be here either. As she runs, so does part of her donor.
If you are in the Houston area and are looking for something to do, try checking out this event and go support the athletes and their cause. You will be glad you did. Good luck and have fun to everyone participating this year. Enjoy the events. Enjoy Life. Spread the word.