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.

Athlete's Advisory Council - June 2016 - Cleveland Ohio
 

East Region

Hilary Hoagwood - Maryland (2016-2017,2018-2019)

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.

Primary Sport: Tennis
Secondary Sport: Swimming

Rich Morgan - Alleghenies (2018-2019)

Rich received his "Gift of Life" (kidney) November 17th of 1999 at the Thomas Starzl Transplantation Institute at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. I competed in my first games in 1999 at Disney, and have not missed one since then. I was a member of the very first Athlete's Action Council. I am very excited about the upcoming events in Salt Lake City and will be working hard to make this Donate Life America Transplant Games the best ever.
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Jim Mozingo - Maryland (2013,2014-2015, 2016-2017,2018-2019)

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 Controller for Covenant Life Church and serves as a board member and the golf coach of Covenant Life School. 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

Primary Sport: Golf
Secondary Sport: Table Tennis

South Region

Ross Owens - Illinois (2018-2019)

I received my life saving liver transplant on 3/6/2011. It was a life saving surgery, that I continue to be thankful for every day. I am a transplant athlete, who competed in the World Transplant Game in Malaga, Spain. I hold multiple degrees from Illinois Universities, including a Masters Degree in Educational Administration from Eastern Illinois University. I am a retired 35 year educator. I have also served as a high school coach, in multiple sports areas, and an athletic director. I have also been a 25 year sports official for baseball and basketball. I have called tournaments at the local, and state level. I am married to my wife Marie, and have three children, 2 stepsons, 4 grandchildren, and multiple siblings, and relatives. I live in Hillsboro. Illinois, and I am a small business owner. I am proud to serve on the Athletic Advisory Council, and hope to make future games memorable.
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Midwest Region

Mike O'Rourke - Indiana (2018-2019)

I was diagnosed with polycystic kidney and liver disease (PKD) at twenty-five. My Grandmother had died of complications from PKD shortly after my father was born. My Father also had PKD and became ill when I was six and died five years later from kidney failure. I went another twenty years without any serious health issues working, going to school and advancing in my career as a casting engineer. My health eventually declined as the PKD progressed. I remember lying in bed, wakened by leg cramps; fantasizing that if I could have one wish, it would be to have a healthy kidney and liver. In August 2006 my wish became a reality when I received a kidney and liver transplant. Following the transplant I revived the Indianapolis PKD Chapter, serving as Chapter Coordinator for two years. I have also been a member of Irvington Friends Meeting, serving on ministry and council, and church trustee for a number of years. The Transplant Games are a way for me to give back as well as a strong incentive to work out regularly, something I was not able to do prior to my transplant. I returned to work six months after the transplant and continued working until March 2017 when I retired. I have been part of team Indiana at the transplant games in Grand Rapids in 2012 and the games in Cleveland in 2016. I worked in Mexico through much of 2014 so I was unable to attend the games in Houston. I have run in the 400 meter relay, the 800 meter race walk and 5K. I medaled both years in doubles bowling. This year I plan to add cycling and pickle ball and have given up bowling.
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Secretary

Pat Folkertsma - Michigan (2013-2014, 2015-2016, 2017-2018)

Pat is a three-time kidney transplant recipient. In 1971 at the age of 17 she received her first kidney from her brother Tim. After 12 years Pat was in need of another kidney. She received her second one from a non-living donor in 1984. 16 years later her third and current kidney was donated to her in 2001 from her best friend Shelly. She believes that one of the best ways to honor her donors is to live life to the fullest.

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, 5 K, and bowling. Winning is fun, but her real goal is to help promote organ and tissue donation and to show how successful transplantation can be. At the games she enjoys renewing friendships and developing new ones.

Pat is excited to be serving on the TGA Athletes Advisory Council. Over a relatively short period of time the games have grown tremendously. She looks forward to using her past experience to help contribute to the success of the council.

Email: kidster2@sbcglobal.net

Primary Sport: Volleyball
Secondary Sport: Racquetball

West Region

Bill Klahn - Iowa (2018-2019)

I have been a competitive swimmer for over 50 years and have completed in over a dozen triathlons, was a rock climber, even climbed Grand Teton, am a scuba diver, and was constantly going to the gym, so I was surprised when the doctor told me I had hepatitis C and was dying. I was in denial and did not seek treatment for years, until I swelled up like a beach ball and was so weak I could hardly walk across the room. The conventional treatment at that time did not work for me, and although the most obvious symptoms had disappeared, I had developed liver cancer. I received my transplant on June 28, 2005.
I was in the hospital getting labs about 3 months after my transplant and walked by a bake sale for "Team Iowa" and stopped to ask who they were. I learned about the games and the thought of competing again got me motivated to get back to the pool and to the gym. At that time I had no idea about the emotional experience of attending the games and was going because I wanted to compete. Of course, after a thousand happy tears and even more hugs at my first games in Louisville, I understood. I have now been to six US games, twice accompanied by my donor's mother and sister, and five world games.
In the time coming up to the games, I received an anonymous letter through the Iowa Donor Network from the mother of my donor, Jo Leah, telling me my donor's name was Sarah, had had passed away due to an AVM. She was 25 and had three young children and Jo Leah wanted to meet me. We wrote back and forth a few times over the course of the next few months. I was consumed with guilt and was afraid to meet her. We finally met at a Masters swim meet and after crying and hugging we became close friends. Meeting her and hearing her story was the most rewarding experience of my life, and she has attended several other meets, plus two Transplant Games. I can think of no better way to honor her daughter for her tremendous gift.
I have been involved with the Iowa Donor Network since then, volunteering for Team Iowa, and the Donor Network, spreading the word about the success of transplant and the need for donors. I have handed out hundreds of donor registration cards at swim meets. I am a personal trainer, swim coach and lifeguard at the local YMCA and have taught 100's of children how to swim. I train year round to be ready for the games, and looking forward to seeing all my friends again in Salt Lake City.
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John Endres - Rocky Mountain (2018-2019)

Coming Soon!
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Chairman

George Franklin 3rd- Maryland (2013,2014-2015, 2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2019-2020)


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 QCC Dinner Dance!!

Email: gef3rd@gmail.com

Primary Sport: Bowling
Secondary Sport: Swimming

 

ALUMNI