A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky organ recipients and donor families set to participate in 2018 Transplant Games of America


Second Chance at Life Team Ky. will be participating in this year’s Transplant Games of America in Salt Lake City, Utah, from August 2-8.

Seventeen organ recipients and one living donor will compete in Olympic style events throughout the week. The people who have received the gift of life battle each other for the gold in 20 events, including: badminton, basketball, cycling, racquetball, running, swimming, tennis, track & field, ballroom dancing, bowling, golf, pickleball, table tennis, volleyball, youth olympiad, corn hole, darts, Texas-hold ’em, trivia and walking. The Donor Families present the medals at the end of the games.

This year’s Team Ky. is made up of 17 recipients who received kidneys (7), double lungs (3), livers (6), heart (1), and one living kidney donor. The youngest recipients: Luke Landrum, age 11, will participate for the first time in various activities, celebrating his heart transplant and Maddie Blankenship, age 11, who received her liver at three months old.

Beverly Holbrook, age 67, is Team Kentucky’s oldest recipient. She received a liver and is planning on bringing home a medal in bowling. Each participant is only limited to their ability to play, as approved by their physicians.

Team Ky. has participated in the TGA since 1994. The Games are held every two years. Junie Sivils is one of our previous Gold Medal winners in basketball.

Second Chance at Life Team Ky. has held numerous fundraisers over the past two years to raise money to send the entire team at no cost to the athletes. The cost to send this large team is approximately $50,000. Team Ky. would like to thank our sponsors: Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates, Trust for Life Circuit Court Clerks, Kentucky One, and Arrow Uniform. If someone would like to help these athletes, they can send a check to Second Chance at Life-Team Ky., 328 Possum Path, Louisville, Ky. 40214.

Second Chance at Life Team Ky. are members of Second Chance at Life, whose mission is to inspire people to register as an organ donor and to prove the gift of life through transplantation allows people to survive and live normal, productive lives.

The Transplant Games of America is the producer of the Donate Life Transplant Games. The games are a multi-sport event to help promote the need for Organ, Eye and Tissue donation, the games started as a way to get the word out about the need.

Over the years it has grown into an event that brought transplant and donor families together. As a donor family, one may not get a chance to meet their loved one’s recipients but allows them to see how their gift has changed others’ lives.

Today there are nearly 120,000 people currently on the waiting list for a life-saving organ. In Kentucky, there are just more than 1,000 people waiting.

This year’s participants include:

Sallie Bell Wilson, Team Leader, 58, Kidney/Pancreas, Recipient and Donor Mom to Jimmy Ginter; Bowling, Darts, Texas Hold ’em

Judy McGaha, Treasurer, 62, Living Kidney Donor; Bowling, Texas Hold’em and Darts

Maddie Blakenship, 11, Liver; Basketball, Bowling, Track&Field, Pickleball

Cara Brahm, 41, Double Lungs; Corn Hole, Darts, Trivia and Volleyball

Lisa Cissell, 55, Double Lungs; Basketball, Table Tennis, Track&Field, Trivia, Volleyball

Kendric Currington, 28, Liver; Basketball

Dan Gutenson, 57, Kidney; Basketball, Corn Hole, Golf, Volleyball

Beverly Holbrook, 67, Liver; Bowling

Les Howard, 66, Liver; Golf and Texas Hold ’em

Julie Ice, 47, Double Lungs; Corn Hole, 2K, Texas Hold ’em, Trivia

Luke Landrum, 11, Heart; Basketball, Bowling, Cycling, Track&Field

Betty Lingenfelter, 63, Liver; 2K, Trivia

Sonny Long, 42, Kidney; Trivia

Mark McGaha, 65, Kidney recipient; Bowling, Texas Hold’em

Lawrence Montalto, 63, Kidney; Golf

Tom Pfannerstill, 66, Liver, Corn Hole, Table Tennis, Darts, Bowling and Volleyball

Junie Sivils, 57, Kidney: Basketball, Bowling, Pickleball and Volleyball

Donor Families:

Scott and Shannon Adkins, Donor Parents to Keegan, age 6

Carla Mudd Constant, Donor Mom to Anthony “Tyler” Hamilton, age 24

Amy Cornett, Donor Mom to Colin Cornett, age 18

Mikayla Davis, Donor Daughter to Michael Jason Edwards, age 25

Cathy Dennis, Donor Family

Vicky Doyle, Donor Mom to Mary Ann Ladd, age 20, Spouse currently on Transplant List

Donna Edwards, Donor Mom to Michael Jason Edwards, age 25

Cathy Webb Mattingly, Donor Mom, Carissa Foushee, age 30

Linda Patton, Donor Spouse, Doyle, age 73

PD Wilson, Donor Dad to Jimmy Ginter


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