Team Transplant St. Louis Prepares for Houston Games
Posted February 18, 2014 in News Category
For two weeks in February, the Olympics provide inspirational stories of overcoming obstacles to triumph. In St. Louis and communities across the nation, a group of special athletes have overcome obstacles of their own and are preparing for their own Olympic-style event this summer.
In July, members of Team Transplant St. Louis, the local contingent of transplant athletes, will travel to Houston to compete in the 2014 Transplant Games of America. Comprised of transplant recipients, living donors and Donor Families, Team St. Louis will compete in 17 events ranging from athletic events like swimming, track and field, cycling, tennis, golf, basketball, and volleyball to games like Texas Hold ‘Em Poker and trivia. “Being on Team St. Louis inspires me to do more and live life to the fullest,” said kidney recipient Emily Rodenbach. “It’s a chance for me to show my donor that they gave me a true second chance at life, and that I won’t let them down.”
Team St. Louis is hosting several events in the coming months, including a Trivia Night fundraiser on Saturday, March 8 at 7 p.m. (Visit our calendar page for registration information.) Proceeds from the event will help team members offset the cost to attending the Transplant Games of America in Houston. “Every person that attends the trivia night is there for this cause,” said JoAnn Cova, a team member whose brother was a donor. “They might have a family member, friend, acquaintance of a family member who have been touched by the miracle of organ donation. When we have a table without a connection to donation, by the end of the night they are a believer. We make sure in all of our speeches, photos, and stories, that they feel connected by the time they leave and their ready to mark it down again for next year.”
In May, the team will welcome the Transplant Games of America flag. Similar to the journey taken by the famed Olympic torch, the official flag of the Transplant Games of America is traveling the nation. It will arrive in St. Louis in early May, when the team will hold a ceremony to welcome it, sign it and send it to its next destination. On June 7, you can support the team by attending the Celebrate Life Foundation’s 5th Annual Life Saving 5K run/walk. Proceeds are donated to Mid-America Transplant Services and Team St. Louis.
A Passon to Help Others
While attending the Transplant Games of America is a primary function of Team St. Louis, members participate in several events throughout the year to raise awareness of organ and tissue donation and support patients waiting or recipients who recently received the Gift of Life. “We have a strong passion to help others who are waiting for a transplant,” team member and kidney recipient Laurie Brown said. “There are many highs and lows to the transplant process, and it is beneficial to see others who have had a successful transplant experience and are maintaining their health.”
Join and support Team St. Louis at www.mts-stl.org/teamstlouis.
Join the organ and tissue donor registry to help people like Team St. Louis members at www.mts-stl.org/join.