These Athletes Have Heart…and Kidney…and Liver…And Lung

New York, NY
June 13, 2005

They haven't hit the court or track yet and already this group of athletes has performed death-defying feats. They all carry an inner trophy — a new organ that qualifies them for the dream team in the game of life. Their ultimate trial will kick off at various venues in Louisville, the site selected for the 2006 U.S. Transplant Games, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) announced today.

The Games, to be held June 16-21, 2006, are an Olympic-style event for athletes who have received life-saving organ transplants of every type — kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas and bone marrow. Transplant athletes will compete for gold, silver and bronze medals in 12 different sports including track and field, swimming, tennis, basketball, cycling and golf. Presented biennially by the National Kidney Foundation since 1990 and sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, the U.S. Transplant Games draw participants from all over the country who are organized into 50 state teams.

“A More than 88,000 Americans are currently on the waiting list for life-saving organ transplants and ten people die each day while waiting. The Transplant Games showcase the success of transplantation, demonstrating the life-saving power of organ donation,” says John Davis, CEO of the National Kidney Foundation.

“We hope our spirited competition will slam home the message that every American should consider becoming an organ donor,” continues Davis.