KUER Local News
6:10 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Utah/Idaho Team Wins Transplant Games Team Cup Award

A team made up of individuals from Utah and Idaho won the top award at the Transplant Games of America in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Monday the team re-united in Murray.

Nineteen local athletes brought home the Transplant Games Team Cup Award for winning the most medals per competitor. The event is an Olympic-style competition where transplant recipients and donors compete. Members from the team gathered at the Intermountain Medical Center Transplant Clinic today to celebrate around the large trophy that accompanied their award. Stephanie Todd is a member of the team. She had a bone marrow and kidney transplant.

“The only difference [from the Olympics] was everybody was there for the same purpose. We were all there to be happy to be alive. There was competition but there was a lot of support for each other as well,” Todd says. 

Diane Alonso is a Transplant Surgeon at Intermountain Healthcare, where 16 of the team athletes received their transplant operations. She says it’s a joy to see these people competing.

“The really cool thing is that, I think for a lot of these people, some of them didn’t even think about participating in a Transplant Olympic or even being able to do something like that," Alonso says. "And then they get this whole new lease on life and they realize ‘oh my gosh’ I have all this new energy.”

The competition is held on even years and has been taking place since 1990.