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Local athletes compete in 2002 U.S. Transplant Games

By Staff
TEAM MEMBERS Loyd Lackey, left, a heart recipient from Philadelphia, Matt Taylor, a kidney recipient from Moss Point, and Jonathon Laird, a liver recipient from Brookhaven, are all veterans of the U.S. Transplant Games. Lackey has competed since 1994, Matt and Jonathon participated for the first time in the 2000 event. submitted photo
special to The Star
June 8, 2002
A group of local athletes are going for the gold this summer competing not only to feel the thrill of victory, but the chance to celebrate life.
Nineteen transplant recipients from Mississippi will travel to Disney's Wide World of Sports complex on June 25-29 to take part in the 2002 U.S. Transplant Games, presented by the National Kidney Foundation and sponsored by Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.
This is the sixth year in a row Team Mississippi has participated in the national event. The Olympic-style competition is open to recipients of every type of life-saving organ transplant, including kidney, liver, heart, lung, pancreas and bone marrow.
With an expected 2,000 transplant athletes participating, representing more than 50 teams across the country, the U.S. Transplant Games promises to be the largest-ever gathering of transplant recipients.
There are currently more than 78,000 Americans on the waiting list to receive life-saving transplants. Fifteen to 16 people die every day while waiting.
For more information on Team Mississippi or for a free organ donor card call the National Kidney Foundation of Mississippi at (800) 232-1592.