August, 2019

Transplant Games News!

How do I participate in the Games?

With the 2020 Donate Life Transplant Games less than a year out, there has been an uptick in inquiries from recipients, living donors, donor families, and others interested in participating in the Transplant Games in New Jersey. 

Join Us: 

Begin by joining your local “TGA State Team.” All TGA Teams can be found here: www.transplantgamesofamerica.org/team. You are allowed to join your local TGA Team in the state you currently reside in, or the state you donated in or had your transplant in. 

Keep In Mind:

  • You can join as an athlete (organ recipient, living donor, bone marrow recipient, cornea recipient or tissue recipient), donor family member, fan, supporter, caregiver, sponsor, etc. 

  • Any participant that is competing in the Games will need to submit a medical waiver prior to June 18, 2020, signed by the athlete’s physician, medically clearing them to compete.

For additional information, email in at: www.transplantgamesofamerica.org/contact.html
or call us directly at 616-356-2331.

Transplant Games App

The Transplant Games of America has officially released its TGA App! You can download the app for free by searching “Transplant Games of America” in the Apple App Store for iPhones or the Google Play Store for Android phones. The app will be a useful resource leading up to the 2020 Games, during the Games and even after the Games. Be sure to check it out and download it now!
Competition Information

Leading up to the Transplant Games in July 2020, we will be featuring one to two sports in the newsletter. Our goal will be to highlight important rules, provide updates on any changes to the format, as well as increase interest in the competition. When registering for the Games, be sure to review each of the sports you will be participating in for final decisions on competition rules.

Bowling and Ballroom Dancing

The bowling competition at the 2020 Donate Life Transplant Games will be held at Hudson Lanes in Jersey City, NJ. Hudson Lanes is a 60 lane bowling alley with a full-service bar and concessions, two meeting rooms, parking for over 300 cars and buses, and is handicap accessible. With over 300 participants, bowling is one of our top attended events. A competition open to all ages and skill levels, bowling can be quite challenging to manage. Under the current format, competitors can compete with a handicap, or as a scratch bowler. In efforts to reach a final format for the bowling competition, the following topics are being discussed by TGA personnel and members of the Athletes Advisory Council. 

Categories of net scoring (Handicapped) and gross scoring (Scratch Bowling)

Partner pairing with the two different scoring categories. 

Medaling the two different scoring categories appropriately. 

Dancing with the Scars:
Ballroom dancing has captured the eyes of many, as one of the Transplant Games most popular spectator events. Transplant Games of America is proud to announce that starting with the 2020 Games in New Jersey, the ballroom dancing competition will now be called “Dancing with the Scars.” An homage to our participants who so beautifully exhibit that life after transplant is still possible in many ways. And yes, we have received legal right form ABC’s Dancing with the Stars to use this name. Additionally, Donor Families will also be allowed to compete and medal in the competition. Rules will stay the same as past year. We encourage you to go to the website and review the rules and guidelines of Dancing with the Scars.

One Year Out

Northern New Jersey was alive with excitement on July 18th as the 2020 Donate Life Transplant Games started the one year countdown to what is sure to be the largest and best Transplant Games in history. Hosted by the New Jersey Sharing Network, the launch included a short but impressive group of speakers and leadership from many of the 2020 Games Partners; Hackensack Meridian Health, RWJ Barnabas Health, University Hospital Newark, American Dream, Meadowlands Live CVB, and LiveOnNY. Guests were able to meet and mingle with many important organizations like Meadowlands Expo Center, Prudential Center, NJPAC, the Berkeley Aquatic Center, and the Greater Newark CVB who are working diligently behind the scenes to make this 2020 event spectacular. It was a great launch and you can see it for yourself at: https://www.facebook.com/TransplantGamesUSA

TGA Media Toolkit

In conjunction with the One Year Out Launch held in New Jersey, the 2020 Transplant Games Local Organizing Committee (LOC) has created a terrific Media Kit that provides background information and reference material on the upcoming Games. Follow this link to access helpful information, important dates, storylines, and key contact information. To download follow the link: https://www.njsharingnetwork.org/tga-toolkit
Honor the Journey

Leading up to the 2020 Games, TransplantNATION magazine will be highlighting stories from different individuals who are willing to let us in on their donation and/or transplantation journey. We celebrate the medical miracle of transplant, but we know the trek is arduous. Take a few moments to share the tears and the victories, it is all part of the journey. Here is a short excerpt from TransplantNATION’s first Honor the Journey series: 

Hundreds of cyclists pedaled their way through the heavy winds on the second half of the 20K course at the 2018 Transplant Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. Every person on this racecourse had gone through their own hardships, uncertainties, and celebrations. Among these cyclists were Jim Eastman, 68, who received a living kidney transplant less than 14 months prior, and his donor, Scott La Point, 54. To emphasize the medical miracle of transplant, this first installment of the Honor the Journey series shares Jim and Scott’s story of friendship formed through trauma, transplant, the Games, and everything in between!

To read the full story, subscribe below to TransplantNATION. If you have a story submission for the Honor the Journey series, please send to Josh Sweedyk at j.sweedyk@transplantLF.org.
Thanks for My Transplant...

What have you been able to experience that you would have missed out on if not for your transplant? Were you able to get married? Walk your daughter down the aisle at her wedding? See a grandchild born? Go skydiving? Travel? Graduate high school or college?

Finish this sentence, “Thanks to my transplant, I was able to…” in 20 words or less.

  • Please include your name and type of transplant.
  • You may send in a high resolution photo of your event/achievement if you would like.
  • Submissions may be used for a photo spread in the October issue of TransplantNATION magazine.

To submit, please follow the link below.
World Transplant Games

We want to give a big congratulations to all the World Transplant Games attendees and Team USA for representing this amazing donation and transplantation community. You efforts continue to show that life after transplant can be amazing.

We would love to see all the fun and memories made while in the UK. Please send your photos to Josh Sweedyk at, j.sweedyk@transplantLF.org. Photos may be used in a photo spread in TrasnplantNATION magazine.


TransplantNATION magazine’s Passages page pays tribute to many milestones reached by individuals in our community. We intend to share news of births, marriages, anniversaries, transplant anniversaries, deaths, and any other significant announcements that celebrate the gift of life or acknowledge the support an individual(s) has given to the organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation world.

If you have a tribute you would like to share in an upcoming Passages page, please send your information (35-75 words or less) to Josh Sweedyk at 

Transplant Life Foundation and Transplant Games of America would like to thank you for your support of our mission. The work that we do to educate the public and bring awareness about donation and transplantation would not be possible without your help and commitment.