After I attended the National Kidney Foundation 2010 Transplant Games this past summer I intended to write  about  the experience in a way that would somehow communicate the emotional intensity and depth of the experience.  Alas, I only managed to talk about sports, which was one aspect only of the event. I had done the 5 K, 20 K bike race (where I actually finished ahead of a few other racers) and the 800 meter run.

Anyway, now in the depths of winter I am doing some housecleaning and see some links I had gathered for doing a post so those will follow, though it is almost a random sampling of what I could have gotten.

If I were to pick one instance that would express the Transplant Games for me, it would have been the time I went into the Convention Center to avail myself of the facilities. Walking back out I found myself behind two young twenty somethings  in business dress pushing a small cart.

I had noted earlier that on the schedule for that time was some events for donor families. That would be the families of deceased donors who had made the decision to donate their loved one’s organs.

The two young women were talking shop, and it seemed they had just met but were both employed in the same  area — companies supporting organ donation. They were talking very matter of factly about what type of tissue paper was the best, and I noted that on the cart was two cases, not boxes,  of tissue paper.

From which I surmised they were headed to one of the donor family events.  A lot of closure goes on there and a lot of healing, and it is a whole other part of the Games I didn’t really experience  as my donor is living, my son Marken.

Recipient, Donor’s Family Meet For First Time At Transplant Games

It’s been three years since the lung from an 18-year-old boy from Michigan saved the life of a retired longshoreman in the Twin Cities. On Friday, organ recipient Vern Jackson and donor Tim Parker’s mother, Lynn, met for the first time…”

Yes, those kids are transplant recipients. LIke this one:

Here is the link to the what might be the official NKF video of the Games.

In the first part of the video they is some footage of a woman singing a song at the Opening Ceremonies. When they introduced her they told how she had a little baby that had some problems and was dying and how she had donated her baby’s heart. Earlier that day she had meet the family of the little baby who had gotten her baby’s heart.

After she sang her song, she broke down crying and walked off the stage to where the recipient family was sitting and took that baby in her arms, the whole family giving her a group hug.  Holding the baby that has your baby’s heart beating in her, that is heavy.