Skating Coach to Leap for Gold at World Transplant Games

New York, NY
July 23, 2007

Jennie Pitman, of Indianapolis, Indiana, calls her donor family her angels. This 33-year-old liver transplant recipient knows that without their gift, she would never have received a second chance to pursue her lifelong passion – ice skating. As a twirling and leaping toddler, ice skating had always been a big part of her life, and as she got older, Jennie trained to become a competitive figure skater.

Jennie, who has Crohn’s Disease, endured many surgeries due to complications associated with the disease, but never imagined that she would be faced with liver failure.

Two summers ago, she learned that she was going to be the lucky recipient of a liver transplant. “I was in complete shock,” Jennie recalls. “I was getting the most amazing gift I could ever receive from a family who just made a very hard decision at the most difficult time in their life.”

Once she recovered, Jennie went back to coaching young figure skaters and hockey players, and aims to bring the joy of skating to other transplant recipients. “The Transplant Games prove that anything is attainable,” Jennie said. “It gives us, the transplant athletes, the opportunity to celebrate life and, in a small way, thank our donor families.”

Jennie looks forward to competing in the swimming and 5K Race Walk events at the 2007 World Transplant Games, to be held on Labor Day weekend in Bangkok, Thailand.