Update from the 2010 NKF U.S. Transplant Games

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Madison, WI: The past week has been a whirlwind of impassioned competition, grand ceremonies, and filmed personal one-on-one encounters at the 2010 National Kidney Foundation U.S. Transplant Games. Our booth at the Games Expo was a tremendous success as we recorded over 100 “Video-Grams” in which transplant recipients, donor families, living donors, and transplant professionals shared their transplant miracles. Meanwhile on the court and field, and in the pool, Team NorCal recipient-athletes put fury and fire into making their donor families proud. Team NorCal won 34 medals altogether: 16 Gold, 9 Silver and 9 Bronze! Ana & Isa were behind five of these medals. Four in the pool — a silver medal in the Women’s 200 Yard medley with Team NorCal (both), silver medals in the Women’s 50 Yard backstroke and 100 Yard butterfly (age 30-39) (Ana), a bronze medal in the Women’s 50 Yard breaststroke (age 30-39) (Isa) — and one on the track, a bronze with the Team NorCal’s 4x100m Women’s relay team (Isa)!

It’s no wonder that people from all over the nation make pilgrimage to the Games every other year; the zest for life that abounds here is undeniable. Continue for a photo recap of our Expo booth, the Games opening ceremony, poolside coverage of the Stenzel twins and more!

July 30-31: The Expo & PowerStudio

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THE POWER OF TWO Expo booth was home to our bright green PowerStudio for recording Video-Grams.

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The Stenzel twins were glowing at the Games Expo!

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LifeStars, one of our Games sponsors, joined THE POWER OF TWO Expo booth to give away temporary tattoos and “Donors Are LifeStars” pins. Founder Marcie Becker comes to the Games every two years to present donor families with her touching jewelry.

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There was a steady stream of eager Games attendees waiting to share their stories in our PowerStudio by recording two-minute Video-Grams.

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Inside the PowerStudio: The stories of transplant miracles were equally heart wrenching and triumphant, each spoken honestly from the heart.

July 30: Team NorCal Dinner

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Isa stands to say a few words at the Team NorCal dinner as team manager Cathy Olmo and her father-in-law Larry Byrnes look on.

Tom Martin (lung recipient)

Tom Martin, double lung transplant recipient, shows his enthusiasm for the Games.

July 31: The Opening Ceremony

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Isa carries her wool bagpiping uniform to the Opening Ceremonies rehearsal.

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Chris Klug helps light the torch to signify the beginning of the Games! (This professional snowboarder founded Chris Klug Foundation, our Community Partner, dedicated to promoting organ and tissue donation through action sports.)

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In full regalia, Isa performs the Star Spangled Banner on bagpipes at the opening ceremony. Using her transplanted lungs to play one of the most demanding wind instruments, she inspired the entire audience to sing along!

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Ana Stenzel reunites with Doni Bell, a Team Maryland athlete who shares the same donor! (Read about when Ana & Doni met for the first time in Washington, D.C. last month.)

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The opening ceremony was an impressive gathering of the nation’s transplant community in one stadium!

August 1: Swimming Competitions

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Isa (far left) and Ana (far right) with fellow Team NorCal members and double lung transplant recipients – Tom Martin & Lara Borowski – just before swim practice.

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Isa competing in the 100 Yard individual medley!

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Ana & Isa catch their breath after a medal-winning swim!

Today, Ana, Isa and the team making THE POWER OF TWO returns to California after our final major film shoot at the Games. We have many more stories to recount from this incredible week in Madison, so check back for comments on the final events and closing ceremony! To see our entire collection of Games photos, click here.

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