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A Day of Beautiful Moments at the Transplant Games

Posted July 14, 2014 in News Category

dsc2307The Transplant Games of America has a way of inspiring, creating beautiful moments, and giving athletes and spectators alike goosebumps. Monday at the Games didn’t disappoint.  

Transplant recipients and living donors — the athletes at the Games — were tested not only on the track and field, but by Houston’s weather: 96 degrees and 114-degree heat index. Inspiration? Two-time kidney recipient Karla Boresi’s impressive and daunting schedule at the track. Karla competed in the first race of the day (1500 meter race walk) and the last race of the day (4x400 meter relay) with several other track and field events in between … in that 114-degree heat index. 

The highlight of the day at track and field came from Team Transplant St. Louis’ youngest members. As 8-year-old liver recipient Deven Shelton struggled to walk the 50 meter dash in the stifling heat, his teammates — 8-year-old kidney recipient Gracie Greenhoff and 8-year-old liver recipient Riley Hansen — joined him on the track and walked with him. They wanted to help their friend.

mts0640The Transplant Games of America is about celebrating life and honoring those who gave the Gift of Life. Yes, it’s a competition with gold, silver and bronze awarded to the top three finishers. But it’s so much more. It’s two runners from opposite corners of the country giving each other a big hug after a close race, later learning they became friends four years ago at the Games in Madison, Wisconsin. It’s a spectator and supporter from one team encouraging and cheering on a complete stranger, who is exhausted but determined to finish the 1500 meter run. It’s a Donor Family member of Team St. Louis giving a bronze medal to a Team St. Louis athlete, and embracing for a hug and tears.

It’s an incredible event. It happens again in two years in Cleveland. 

View more photos in the Photo Gallery.

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