Friendly Rivals in the Pool
Posted July 29, 2012 in News Category
Eric Sherron claimed three silver and two bronze medals Saturday in swimming events at the Transplant Games of America in Grand Rapids, Michigan. And while he would have liked to swim faster, he enjoys reuniting with friends he’s made since his kidney transplant in 2005.
“I have friends from all over the country here,” said Eric, who received his kidney from his mother, Linda. “It’s really neat knowing you have this bond with these people. There’s an instant connection that we’ve all been through a big, nasty disease process. You want to beat the guy next to you, but then you turn around and give him a hug after the race.”
With five medals on Saturday – silver in the 100 backstroke, 50 breaststroke and a relay and two bronze in the 50 freestyle and 50 butterfly – Eric has 26 medals in six Games appearances, fourU.S.games and two World Games.
“It’s ended up meaning a lot more than I thought it would because of the connections I’ve made, because of the camaraderie between the recipients and donor families,” Eric said of the impact of the Transplant Games. “I’ve been to swim meets my entire life and you usually finish a race and shake hands with the guy in the next lane, but I was constantly talking to someone today. I’ve made a lot of friends here.”
A competitive swimmer in high school, Eric looked up results of previous Games before attending his first Games in 2006. The level of competition surprised him then, and 14-year-old Blake Krupa of Team Utah-Idaho surprised many with eight gold medals.
From Bowling to the Nets
Amanda Beasley has participated in bowling at two Transplant Games. This year, she decided to try something different. “I just wanted to do more,” said Amanda, who received a double lung transplant in 2005 because of cystic fibrosis (CF). “I wanted to see if I could because I could never had the chance in high school. This was a lot of fun.”
She earned a bronze medal in table tennis and is entered in badminton, volleyball and bowling this year. “I want to honor my donor,” Amanda said. “And I had a little brother that had CF too. He didn’t have this chance.”
All in All, Bronze is Good
Competition is getting tougher for 13-year-old Hayden Scheffer. He has participated in six Transplant Games, winning 10 medals in that time. On Saturday, Hayden added a bronze medal to his collection in table tennis. “All in all, it was good,” said Hayden, who received a kidney in 2001 from his father, Dave. “But everyone is getting better and better and practicing more.”
Hayden won his last five games on Saturday to secure bronze. He’ll participate in bowling on Tuesday.
Team Transplant St.Louis Medal Count
With Laurie Brown’s gold medal in racquetball and a silver and bronze medal by Karla Boresi in cycling, Team Transplant St. Louis claimed 10 medals on Saturday.