"The event promises to be the world's largest-ever gathering of transplant recipients"
By Stephanie Montgomery
After racking up countless hours at the gym, on the track and in the pool, 21 athletes, living donors, donor families, and team supporters from Oahu will travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for nearly a week of fierce athletic competition at the National Kidney Foundation 2008 U.S. Transplant Games, sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation.
The Games are an Olympic-style competition for those who have received life-saving organ transplants of every type, including kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas and bone marrow. The six-day event will be held July 11-16 in Pittsburgh.
Team Hawaii is one of 50 state and regional teams competing in the 2008 U.S. Transplant Games, totaling more than 6,000 participants. The event promises to be the world's largest-ever gathering of transplant recipients. Team Hawaii has registered two track and field participants, two swimmers, two bowlers, two tennis players, a golfer and a racquet ball player. The athletes are proudly representing the State of Hawaii and hope to bring home gold, silver and bronze medals in all of their sporting events.
The Games visually demonstrate the success of transplantation and call attention to the dramatic national organ shortage. Currently there are 100,000 Americans on the national transplant waiting list for every type of life-saving organ transplant.
Nearly 400 people in Hawaii are awaiting transplants and close to 90 percent are in need of a kidney. Sadly, approximately 12 people in Hawaii die each year, while waiting for an organ transplant, and the number of people in need continues to grow each year.
By participating in the Games, Team Hawaii hopes to help draw attention of the critical need for increased donation in this country.
For more information about Team Hawaii or to receive a free organ donor card, contact the National Kidney Foundation of Hawaii at (808) 593-1515 or log onto KidneyHI.org.
For more info on this year's North American transplant games visit the following links: U.S. Transplant Games 2008 Pittsburgh July 11-16, 2008. Canadian Transplant Games Windsor, ON Aug 5-10, 2008.
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