BILL RYAN COMMENTS ON THE DATES SELECTED FOR THE 2016 TRANSPLANT GAMES
January 6, 2015
Happy New Year Everyone!
Well, it certainly looks like we started 2015 with a bang. I like fireworks but would rather see them lighting up the sky instead of the Internet. A number of you have responded with frustration about the dates selected for the 2016 Transplant Games and others have taken issue with the comments on the Facebook page. I would like to share a few comments with all of you.
When it's all said and done, we are a family; an incredibly unique and special family. Families often have disagreements and sometimes things are said that don't quite come out exactly the way they were meant. Comments in writing sometimes complicate the message even more. So if anyone was worried that I was offended or put off by people's comments, please know that it's all okay. In fact, it's better than okay because it means the Games and the mission still elicit a passion that only this family can understand. In regards to the Facebook page, I try not to respond unless I need to correct comments that are clearly wrong, but it's important that you all have the freedom to chat, complain, inform, and disagree without any undue influence from me or others involved in putting on the games. I would rather use a different forum for official comments. In the meantime, your thoughts and concerns are always welcome.
So, indeed it is true that the 2016 Transplant Games will be held from Friday, June 10, through Wednesday, June 15, 2016. It is also true that the dates resulted from Cleveland being awarded the Republican National Convention in July of 2016. We spent significant time trying to negotiate around the complications caused by this political event, and we worked hard to come up with a better solution. As a parent, I am well aware of the various school calendars and selecting dates that I knew would impact some of you was not done without careful consideration of all of our options. I apologize to all of you that are potentially affected and I hope that you will try and work with your local school system in resolving the inevitable attendance and testing issues. I think our mission is that important! Over the years, we have had to pull our children out of school dozens of times and most of those approved absences did not measure up to the important work we are doing with the Transplant Games. I hope to see everyone in Cleveland.
To those of you who feel we should've moved the event, I would share with you that major event site selections are very complex and based on many factors. One of the most important considerations is the partnerships that are critical to success. We have an outstanding partnership in Cleveland with what I would consider to be a number of 5-Star partners who from day one have stepped forward with resources and commitments that are both generous and important to the future of donation and transplantation. Along with that, there are negotiations with venues, hotels, transportation companies, medical teams, and city leadership that add to the complexity of the process. In the final analysis, Cleveland still presented the best options for us in 2016. I am confident that the end result will be worth it.
I look forward to working with all of you as we prepare for 2016.