Let the Games Begin!
From July 29 through August 3, thousands of athletes will descend on San Diego and compete to be the best in their respective sports. But these aren’t just any athletes—each one has received a transplant of some kind, is a living donor or is otherwise connected to the transplant field. The 2022 Donate Life Transplant Games of America will feature 20 sports and 60 special events at the San Diego Convention Center, UC San Diego and other venues throughout the city. The biennial celebration of life begins with an opening
“We encourage people to be active and lead normal lives. The only thing you’re limited on is extreme sports,” says Dr. Ingulli. According to Donate Life America, more than 100,000 people in the US are waiting for a transplant and about 85 percent of those are waiting for a kidney. Rady Children’s Hospital, the only pediatric kidney transplantation center in San Diego County, has performed about 100 kidney transplants over the years, yet on any given day 25 to 30 kids remain on the waiting list. Organ donation can be life- changing or even lifesaving, and the need for donated organs is greater than ever. The Transplant Games aim to honor organ, cornea, bone marrow and tissue donors, inspire potential donors and show the world all that’s possible after transplantation. “The transplant games are fabulous, and what you see is the fact that you can lead a very healthy life,” says Dr. Ingulli. “These young adults can do anything they put their mind to.”
“With my new kidney, I’m able to do whatever I want,” he says. “That’s what I always kept on my mind, before the transplant and after, like, I’m able to do everything. That’s what made me stay positive.” Dr. Ingulli encourages more people to pursue donation. Though she’s partial to the kidneys, there’s also a need for more blood and bone marrow donors, plus those who choose to have their organs and tissue donated after their death. “Most people don’t understand what it’s like to need machines to survive—to even just exist,” she says. “Dialysis isn’t always a good replacement. People still don’t feel wonderful; they’re surviving, but are they living? Sometimes people think of the living part as starting after transplant—they don’t think about living on dialysis.”
ceremony parade along the embarcadero sponsored by
Rady Children’s, a 5K run/walk and honors programs where attendees can share stories about loved ones and learn more about donation and transplantation. No contact sports are on the agenda, but spectators will be able to watch competitions in everything from ballroom dancing, bowling and badminton to basketball and tennis. The event will end with pickleball and darts tournaments.
SUMMER 2022 HEALTHY KIDS MAGAZINE 23
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