Market Overview

OneLegacy Salutes Team of Southern California Athletes Traveling to Salt Lake City for the 2018 Transplant Games of America

Share:

Nearly 100 Local Organ Recipients, Living Donors, Donor Family
Members and Supporters Will be Part of This Uplifting National Event


Meet
Team SoCal's Members and Learn About Their Moving Stories

OneLegacy, the largest organ procurement organization serving seven
counties and a growing population of over 22 million people in Southern
California, is proud to support and wish good luck to nearly 100
athletes and supporters who will participate in the 2018 Donate Life
Transplant Games of America.

Taking place in Salt Lake City, Utah, the games are a celebration of
goodwill for everyone connected to organ donation and transplantation.
Donor families, living donors, transplant recipients and many others
whose lives have been touched by organ donation will help celebrate the
gift of life starting today through August 7.

More than just an athletic event, the games include the participation of
over 40 teams from across the United States who will compete to win
gold, silver and bronze medals for each sports category. The 96 athletes
and participants from Team SoCal have worked with local organizations
and community partners, like OneLegacy, to compete in different
categories and raise funds for their uniforms and their trip to Salt
Lake City.

"Team SoCal's participants have either volunteered their time as
OneLegacy Ambassadors or shared their stories with their local
communities to help promote the importance of organ, eye and tissue
donation within our service area," said Tom Mone, CEO of OneLegacy. "We
are proud to support this group of amazing individuals of all ages and
connections to donation as they represent Southern California during
this year's Transplant Games."

MEET TEAM SOCAL

From first-time participants to long-time Transplant Games veterans, the
members of Team SoCal include transplant recipients, living donors,
donor families and supporters. Participants range from age 9 to 81, and
they compete in a wide range of events.

Debbie Morgan is Team SoCal's president, former Transplant Games
athlete, and team supporter. She became a donor advocate in 1999 and
received a lifesaving liver transplant in 2008. She has been part of the
Transplant Games of America since 2010 through her organization, United
Organ Transplant Association.

"The Transplant Games are an amazing experience for the
transplant community, and I am honored to help lead our team in Salt
Lake City," said Debbie. "The emotion we share as we trade stories is
unforgettable. From watching a 10-year-old stop short of the finish line
during his race so that a younger boy on a walker could take home the
bronze medal, to experiencing the whole stadium cheering on a woman as
she slowly finished her race in last place, the Transplant Games of
America provide memorable experiences that go beyond competing."

Here are some fun facts and team highlights from
Team SoCal
:

  • The team's youngest member is 9-year-old Santino Pepe who was
    born with kidney failure and who received a transplant at the age of
    2. He will be accompanied by his mom, Yvette Pepe, who donated
    one of her kidneys to save Santino's life.
  • Team SoCal's oldest participant is Phil Pressel, an 81-year-old
    transplant recipient who will participate in swimming competitions.
    This is the fourth time that Phil has attended the games.
  • Another young member of Team SoCal is Xavier McLeod, a
    14-year-old kidney recipient who has been part of the Transplant Games
    since 2014, receiving the Youth Athlete of the Year award in 2014 at
    the age of 10.
  • Additional team members include:
    • Transplant Games veteran, Gerald Colter, a kidney
      transplant recipient and a Transplant Games participant since 1996.
    • Holly Miyagawa, a kidney recipient who has been part of the
      games since 2005 and who was awarded the Outstanding Female
      Athlete Award.
    • Lacey Wood, a 29-year-old heart and kidney recipient and
      OneLegacy employee who has been part of the Transplant Games since
      1998.

GUINNESS WORLD RECORD ATTEMPT

To help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the games,
OneLegacy is sponsoring a gathering of transplant recipients during the
Transplant Games of America with the goal of breaking the Guinness World
Record of the most transplant recipients gathered at one place. Team
SoCal participant, OneLegacy's public education manager and living
kidney donor, Kathleen Hostert, as well as her husband and kidney
recipient, Craig Hostert, will lead the efforts to help break
this Guinness World Record attempt. Kathleen and Craig originally helped
set the record in 2016 during the Donate Life Run/Walk in Southern
California, when 314 transplant recipients participated in the challenge.

The 2018 Transplant Games of America will include the following sports
categories: 5K Run/Walk, Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cornhole,
Cycling, Darts, Golf, Racquetball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Texas
Hold ‘em Poker, Trivia Challenge, Virtual Triathlon, Volleyball,
Ballroom Dancing, Pickle Ball, Youth Olympiad, Track and Field, and
Lyrics for Life.

To learn more about Team SoCal and the Transplant Games of America,
please visit transplantgamesofamerica.org
or teamsocaltransplantgames.org.

You can help save up to eight lives through organ donation and heal the
lives of up to 75 people by registering as an organ, eye and tissue
donor. Learn more at www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org/OneLegacy.

View Comments and Join the Discussion!