Mid-South Transplant Survivors Prepare For Games

MEMPHIS, TN - Folks at the Mid-South Transplant Foundation are gearing up for their big Olympics: The Transplant Games of America.  

But, as they told anchor Katina Rankin, it's more than just competing in sporting events, it's about life itself.

These folks look like you and me. It may seem like they're just gathering for a good meal, a few drinks and great laugh, but on this day, they are doing much more. They are people who received organ transplants and beat death. People like Bryan Lawton who had a double lung transplant back in 1997.

"Without this great thing of being a recipient of lungs, I wouldn't be here to do this," said Lawton. 

Lawton is talking about competing in sporting events like badminton, basketball, swimming, running track, and cycling. It's all a part of The Transplant Games of America that will be held this June. 

"They added a singing competition this year, so it's going to be something like American Idol for transplant patients.  They have ballroom dancing.  They have trivia," Mid-South Transplant Community Development Co-Ordinator Erskine Gillespie told us. "Most of us who have gone through this know what it's like when we were so sick and couldn't get out of bed to now having restored life where we can go and compete in a competitive sporting event."

Beverly Robertson with the National Civil Rights Museum couldn't agree more.  In fact, she's a living testimony. 

"I received a transplant in 2012 and I am doing fine.  So, I thought it would be important for me to give back because there are scores of people in this community who really need a kidney transplant and liver transplant," explained Robertson. "What people must realize is when they decide to donate an organ, they're literally giving life to another person." 


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