At the conclusion of the 2012 Transplant Games in Grand Rapids,  a decision was made to form an Athletes Advisory Council.  The role of the council will develop over time but the concept was to give a voice to athletes and participants who could make recommendations and provide advice based on best interest of the games.  Currently members serve a staggered 2-year term so that way every year we have approximately half of our members as incumbents and half of our members newly elected.
 

East Region

Hillary Hoagwood - Maryland (2016-2017)

I am a two time liver transplant recipient. When  was 15, I went on vacation with my parents. While on vacation, I went into acute liver failure and a coma. Basically I wasn't feeling well, took a nap, and woke up a week later with a new liver. That liver lasted for several years, but due to a complication with my hepatic artery I required a second transplant on March 1, 2001. I have been fortunate to be very healthy since then and have become an avid participant in the Transplant Games. Cleveland will be my 6th US Games, and I have also competed in 2 Winter World Games and 3 Summer World Games. I compete in swimming, tennis, volleyball, and when possible track. I am also a downhill/alpine skier.
 
I have also been blessed to connect with my second donor family, and they even came to the Games in Houston with me. The connection I have with my donor family has made me even more committed to the cause of organ donation and awareness. I do take my sports and training very seriously, and I take awareness super seriously and want to do all that I can to make the games a wonderful experience, for athletes and donor families and supporters alike.

Patrick Kacani - Virginia (2015-2016)

A native of Metuchen, NJ, I moved to Virginia in 1981 to attend the University of Richmond where I first met Matt Felix. We became soccer teammates, fraternity brothers and eventually roommates. On November 27, 2012 we became connected in a much different way when I donated nearly two thirds of my liver to Matt who was suffering with PSC. Today, both Matt and I are doing great!

I participated in my first Transplant Games in 2014 at Matt’s invitation as part of Team Liberty (NY-NJ-CT), each of us earning five medals. I may be the only participant to have been beaten by his own liver in a race, albeit by only two tenths of a second. In 2016 I am looking forward to competing in the Games as a member of Team Virginia. Matt and I were recently named by UNOS to be one of the “Faces of Transplant” and I am an active volunteer with Donate Life America and UNOS, working to promote organ donation awareness.

I live in Richmond, VA with my wife Kim and children Ryan (21), Jenny (19) and Mollie-Aidan (7). While I no longer play soccer due to knee surgery and age (mostly age), I am an active runner and try to compete in as many 5K and 10K races as I can.

Mike DiPiano - New Jersey (2015-2016)

I received my Kidney Pancreas Transplant in 1998 at St. Barnabas Medical center in Livingston, NJ I have been a member of Team Liberty and have attended every transplant game since 2004. I have also attended world games in Bangkok and Gold Coast. Mike received his Kidney-Pancreas transplant in 1998 at St. Barnabus Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey. Mike has been a member of Team Liberty and has attended every Transplant game since 2004. He has also attended World Games in Bangkok, Thailand and Gold Coast, Australia.

Mike has had a successful 34 year career as Athletic Director at St. Benedict’s Prep School, one of the most prestigious prep schools on the east coast, where he also served as the schools Head Wrestling, Baseball, and Soccer Coach. Under Mike’s leadership, the St. Benedict’s Prep Athletic Department has proven to be a great success. He has also held various positions such as President, Vice President, Treasurer of the Essex County Athletic Directors Association, Region and District Wrestling Coaches Association, and the New Jersey Independent School Athletic Directors Association.

Mike currently speaks at numerous affairs to help spread the success and need for organ donation and transplantation. Most recently, Mike enjoys speaking to teenagers at high schools all over the state of New Jersey about the importance of registering to be an organ donor on their driver’s license. His proven achievement in identifying creative fund-raising techniques and maximizing opportunities for student-athletes and staff is something that Mike is looking forward to bringing to the Athletic Council.

George Franklin 3rd- Maryland (2013,2014-2015, 2016-2017)

George, a 1972 graduate of Frank W. Ballou Senior High School, in Washington DC, was experiencing some physical difficulties, his senior year, due to an undiagnosed kidney disease. George had it all planned out, preparing to enlist in the Navy or Air Force after high school. However, he became very ill and was hospitalized, first, in Hadley Hospital, then, transferred to the George Washington University Medical Center, both in Washington DC, where he was diagnosed with Glomerulonephritis, a disease where the kidneys' filters become inflamed and scarred and slowly lose their ability to remove wastes and excess water from the blood through the urine....and all this just weeks after graduation from high school.

George endured several different treatments for his kidney disease, including Peritoneal Dialysis and Hemo-Dialysis, the later for 6 hours a day, 3 days a week, and 9 surgeries over the course of three years. In April, of 1975, George had his first kidney transplant, which, sadly, had to be removed the next month. Then, the call came again, 6 months later, on November 4th, for another kidney transplant. George was VERY reluctant to go back into surgery, having just experienced 6 whole months without surgery, but, his Surgeon, Dr Glenn W. Geelhoed, was VERY insistent that THIS kidney was HIS kidney! The Doctor was RIGHT!

George was given a new chance at life and with this Second Chance, George has been very busy! He is an energetic participant in several Organ Donor Awareness activities, including attending the First International Transplant Games, in 1978, in Southsea, England. In 1980, he won his first Bronze Medal for Swimming at the 3rd International Games in New York City. George started attending the National Transplant Games in 1996, at the insistence of Christine Wilson, a recipient friend, and has amassed one Gold, two Silvers and 3 more Bronzes in the 5 National Games he's attended as a Competitor.

George speaks at countless health fairs and churches and is a volunteer for various Organ and Tissue Donation Education organizations, including the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), the OPO Washington Regional Transplant Community (WRTC), in Falls Church, Va., the OPO Living Legacy Foundation (LLF) in Baltimore, MD., and the NKF of Western Maryland, where he currently resides.

George testifies that, because someone chose to sign an Organ Donor Card, the presence of a Merciful God and his faith in Him, strong family support and a GREAT surgeon, he's now had his kidney transplant for over 38 years!

In 2004, George started a Social Support Club called the Quarter Century Club. The members celebrate organ transplant longevity, as all of the members have had their heart, liver, lungs, bone marrow or kidney transplant for at least a quarter century...25 years! If you qualify for Membership, leave them a message at quartercenturyclub.org/ And, EVERYONE attending the Games is invited to the 2014 QCC Dinner Dance!!

Email: gef3rd@gmail.com
 

Jim Mozingo - Maryland (2013,2014-2015, 2016-2017)

Mr. Mozingo received a kidney transplant from a deceased donor in May 2006 at the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Transplant Center. Currently, Mr. Mozingo is the Team Captain of Team Maryland and a member of the Maryland Chapter of Transplant Recipients International Organization (“TRIO”). Since 2008, he has competed in every national Transplant Games and one state Transplant Games. Mr. Mozingo has won multiple medals at the Transplant Games competing in basketball, golf, and table tennis. Mr. Mozingo also served as the Team Captain for Team Nation’s Capital for the 2010 Transplant Games.

Mr. Mozingo works as the Business Administrator for Seneca Creek Community Church and served seven years on the board of directors of the church’s holding company. He also coached his daughter’s little league baseball and basketball teams for several seasons. Mr. Mozingo graduated from the College of William and Mary with a BBA degree in Accounting in 1985. Mr. Mozingo resides in Gaithersburg, Maryland with his wife and daughter.

Email: mozingojim@aol.com
 

South Region

Kim Jaques - Florida (2016-2017)

I'm a Boston-born, Florida-raised woman who received a heart/double lung transplant on June 14, 1996, at the age of 16, at St. Louis Children's Hospital due to advanced stages of Eisenmenger's Syndrome. I've been participating in the transplant games since 2002.  I'm the itty bitty thing from Team Florida who's voraciously trading pins!! I enjoy sharing my story and offering advice and insight to those who are either on the waiting list or newly transplanted! Looking forward to being apart of this group, sharing and learning from each other!!
 

David Miller - Alabama (2015-2016)

Bone Marrow Recipient 1985 from Living Donor - Brother Dewayne Miller
Liver Recipient 1998 from Deceased Donor - Jimmy Taylor
Attended National Games in 2008 Pittsburgh, 2010 Madison, 2012 Grand Rapids and 2014 Houston
Attended World Games with Team USA in 2011 Sweden and 2013 Durban
Ambassador for Organ & Tissue Donation with Be The Match, Alabama Organ Center, Chris Klug Foundation and Second Chance.
Hobbies include Golf, Bowling, Softball, Running
Married 20 years to Tammy Miller

Dennis Murphy - South Carolina (2015-2016)

Dennis Murphy is a 2006 liver transplant recipient and has participated in the Transplant Games since 2008. He won a Gold medal in 2010 (Dancing) and two Gold (Dancing) and a Silver (Doubles Golf) medal in 2014.

Dennis had always viewed the Games as a chance to show how transplantation works and to honor donor families. However, he came to another realization at the 2014 Houston Games. “When I saw the people standing in front of the stage at Closing Ceremonies in Houston wearing shirts saying what kind of organs they need, it hit me like a club. We recipients have already been given our gifts of life. We go to the Games and participate so that more awareness is raised and those people waiting can get their gift.”

Dennis has been in the hair styling business since 1970, is the winner of numerous awards for his technical expertise and is recognized as one of the innovators in his field. For the past twenty-one years, he and his wife and caretaker, Eva, have been the owner of Hairquarters, a full-service hair replacement studio in Surfside Beach, SC. He is the immediate Past President of Transitions International, an organization comprised of hair studios from around the world.

Al Milek - North Carolina (2013-2014, 2015-2016)

Retired Insurance financial officer and Boy Scout Leader Heart transplant July 2006 Transplant games participation 2008, 2010 and 2012 Team Captain Team Carolinas Grand Rapids 2012 Participation: swimming, biking. Track and field, 5K
 

Midwest Region

Holly Werlein - Michigan (2016-2017)

I am so happy and excited to have been chosen to be a part of the council :) I have a passion for the games and spreading organ donation a! My name is Holly Werlein and I'm 31 years old. I received my liver transplant on June 14, 2006 at the age of 21. I went into sudden liver failure, like Hilary. I just happened to be in the right place, Cleveland Clinic, at the right time. I remember 3 days of my hospital stay and never knew I needed a transplant until I woke up with one a week and half later. They never found out what happened to my liver. I had a pretty rough recovery and some rejection, but I am 9 years strong now!  
 
I have been competing in the US and World Games since 2008. After my family and I went to the first Games in Pittsburgh, we were hooked! I usually compete in swimming, track and field and volleyball. I want to try some new events this year though. Here is a video I did with my donor family called, "I Like Organ Donors" http://ilikegiving.com/films/i-like-organ-donors Feel free to watch and share with others. 
 

Sue Skedsvold - Minnesota (2015-2016)

After years of illness I was diagnosed with cryptogenic liver disease. I just had a bad liver. After 2 years on the transplant waiting list and being shut in my home, my liver continued to fail and I experienced severe encephalopathy. On Feb 1, 2009 I received a call from my 2nd cousins family in CA. My cousin Donald suffered a stroke and was declared brain dead. Donald was not a registered donor and his family had not considered donation until his 87 year old father reminded them that I needed a liver. Donald’s family decided to direct gift me his liver. Donald was a perfect match for me and I had my life saving transplant on Feb 4, 2009. Because of their decision to help me Donald’s family also decided to donate his heart, lungs and kidneys resulting in 4 other people here today. After my transplant we were informed that I would have only made it 1 month, 2 at the most. The Drs. determined that my liver would have quickly failed and I would have plummeted without little hope of receiving a liver. I am thankful for my gift and to Kim and Donald’s family. In July 2014, Kim joined me in Houston and we attended our very first Transplant Games. What a celebration of life we experienced. We share a special bond and I am grateful.

Jim Brien - Wisconsin (2013,2014-2015, **2015-2016)

Wausaukee, WI, retired from Wisconsin DNR & married to Pat Brien. Have 2 daughters & one grand-daughter. I received a kidney from my brother Jerry in 1982. Have been to all the transplant Games since 2004. This includes US Games, summer & winter World Games. I am co-manager of Team Wisconsin. I am on the advisory Board for Team USA & was the on site manager for Team USA at Winter Games. There I got 4 medals & was selected as the athlete to read the oath at the opening ceremony. Besides promoting organ donation I am involved with may other organizations.
 

Pat Folkertsma - Michigan (2013-2014, 2015-2016)

Pat is a three-time kidney transplant recipient. She received her first kidney from her brother Tim in 1971 and her second one from a non-living donor in 1984. Her current kidney was donated to her in 2001 from her best friend Shelly.

Her first games experience was at the 1982 World Games in Greece. In 1986, she competed in the first U S Transplant Games in Fort Worth, Texas. She has participated in all but one of the U S games and in several world games. Pat has competed in swimming events, tennis, shot put, ball throw, running relays, badminton, table tennis, and bowling. Even though she has won over 70 medals, Pat’s real goal is to help promote organ and tissue donation and to show how successful transplantation can be. She also enjoys renewing friendships and meeting new friends at the games.

She has served on several games committees at the state and national level and is excited to be a member of the Athletes Advisory Council. Pat is a volunteer for the Gift of Life. She believes the best way to honor her donors and promote organ donation is to live life to the fullest.
 

West Region

Bob Skaggs - New Mexico (2016-2017)

I received a kidney on March27, 1996 from a lady who died of a severe stroke on March 25. The Transplant Clinic at UNMHospital told me that I had to exercise. I began swimming at age 10  and have continued off and on since then competing as a teen ager in Las Cruces, NM. Later on in life I joined the Masters swim program and competed in my mid thirties in many events. So it was a natural for me to get back in the water at age 59. I went to Salt Lake City shortly after the transplant and won 2 medals with hardly any practice. That was enough encouragement to continue and since then I have competed in about 15 summer games in the US and Australia, and three winter games in the US, Switzerland, and Italy skiing in downhill events.

John Petrick - California (2015-2016)

I received a kidney transplant in 2004. My business partner donated to me. I have Polycystic Kidney Disease as does most of my family. I am currently a partner in a CPA firm in the Los Angeles area. I Have a BA in Biology from California State University, Northridge and a MS in accounting from the same institution.

I have attended the USA games since 2008 and the world games since 2009. When the NKF stopped supporting the games I helped form a 501c3 organization for Team Southern California that assists the transplant community from Southern California attend the Transplant Games of America. From 2012 to 2014 we were able to double our team size and we hope to grow even bigger for the 2016 games. In 2013 my sister received a kidney transplant, however, 25 days later she died of an infection. I raised money in her name to sponsor two young transplant recipients and a parent for each so that they could attend the 2014 games in Houston, Texas.

Secretary

Nancy Dodge - New Mexico (2013, 2014-2015, 2016-2017)

I am a young lady that has had passion for the outdoors, children’s education and the Transplant community. I have lived in Albuquerque all my life. Transplantation has changed my life in a way that I want to reach out to EVERYONE that will listen. Back in ‘84- no-one knew what Transplantation was! So then I was hooked! I have been an advocate to educate more of our diverse cultures here in New Mexico. American Indians, Hispanic and African Americans have learned, and willing to pass on our torch. I am still trying everyday to outreach as many people that will listen!


Email: dodge_n@aps.edu
Brother (William D Clark)donated Kidney, July 1984, 22 Years
Sister (Catherine Liparoto) donated kidney April 2006 8 Years
US Games -11 attended
1 world games
 

Carol Inman - Arizona (2013-2014, 2015-2016)

As an avid past participant and multiple medal awards winner of many World and U.S. Transplant Games from Los Angeles through Kobe, Japan, Carol’s Michigan TGA was a continuation with five Golds. More important (and fun) was her reconnection with many friends from over the years. As a 31-year kidney recipient and involved for many years as a speaker advocate for organ donation, Carol hopes to offer assistance and guidance for all recipient competitors.

Email: tga31tga@gmail.com
 

Chairman

TJ Maciak - Michigan

TJ is a two time kidney recipient who received the gift of life in 1994 and 1996 from anonymous, deceased, donors. He has spent the years since his transplant helping to spread the word about the importance of organ donation and has a goal to increase awareness as much as possible. Since TJ received the gift of life he obtained both an under graduate degree as well as a graduate degree in Computer Information Systems from Grand Valley State University. In 2012 he initiated the TJ Maciak Give Life Endowed Scholarship at GVSU to help those students in college -- who like him -- are waiting for, or had, a life saving transplant.

TJ has been participating in the transplant games since 1996 and has attended 6 world transplant games representing team USA. In 2011 when TJ heard that the US Transplant Games would no longer be held he did everything he could to not let the games be finished. Because of his determination, motivation and the attitude that the games were so important to so many people and they should go on, the Transplant Games of America were born and the legacy of the transplant community will hopefully continue for a long time to come!

Email: tj@transplantgamesofamerica.org
 

 

ALUMNI

* Denotes member was Re-Elected for another term