The Donate Life Transplant Games is a multi-sport festival event produced by the Transplant Games of America for individuals who have undergone life-saving transplant surgeries. Held in Cleveland, OH, this June 2016, competitive events are open to living donors, organ transplant recipients, bone marrow, corneal and tissue transplant recipients. More than an athletic event, the Donate Life Transplant Games highlight the critical importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation, while celebrating the lives of organ donors and recipients.
The 2016 TDS Team Tennessee more than double team size and number of medals from the 2014 Games, bringing home 32.
On an impulse I decided that I wanted to donate a kidney to someone and went about trying to find where to go. I finally located a local dialysis center that started getting things going and eventually they connected me with Vanderbilt in Nashville. I went through all their procedures while they looked for a suitable recipient. After a local recipient was found the surgery was scheduled for a Thursday morning when we were both wheeled in the operating room and both surgeries were performed. The day after the surgery my nurse asked me if I wanted to meet my recipient and I told her that I did so her and her mom came to my room and we all had a really great chat. We haven’t been in contact since then and I often wonder how she is doing. Shortly after my surgery, I started volunteering for Tennessee Donor Services helping to educate people about organ donation. Through this I’ve met some of the greatest people I’ve ever known and look forward to many more years of being an advocate for organ donation.
James B. Jones
I waited 12 years for my liver transplant at Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. On February 21, 2013, I received my call that a donor live was available and to be at the hospital in the morning. On February 22, 2013 I went into the operating room and 16 hours later came out with a blessed second chance at life. I was torn between what just happened. Somebody just lost a loved one and graciously donated their organs so other may live. This struck me as the greatest gift one human being can give another, especially at their time of grief. I went back to work at the business I have built from ground up for 33 years of my life and decided that I received a second chance for greater things. I need to give back to my donor family and honor my donor, along with all donors and donor families for their precious gift of life. I no longer take life for granted but rather embrace each day with all that I am. With this new life experience, my family decided to build a non-profit to help others going through this horrific journey. No caregiver should ever be along during this like altering journey. Therefore Caring Hands Village has become a reality and we will begin assisting transplant patients the summer 2016.