Transplant Games Attended: 2014, 2016, 2018
In 2003, Jennifer Herr’s youngest child, Allison, was diagnosed with biliary atresia just two weeks after her birth. This rare disease would require a liver transplant, but the Herr’s new reality was that Allison’s health would have to further deteriorate before she could be put on the transplant waiting list. For two and half years, although appearing to be healthy on the outside, Allison’s condition worsened, and she became gravely ill. It got to a point where Jennifer began to ask herself, “Am I going to wake up in the morning and find out my child has passed away?”
Thankfully, on January 21st, 2006, Allison received a donor liver and within days, her jaundice had subsided, her appetite was back, and she began to thrive like a healthy three-year-old child. Fourteen years later, Allison is a strong athlete, and an active, and energetic teenager. She shows livestock, competes in high school sports, 4-H club, and participates in the Transplant Games of America.
“Every Transplant Games is a milestone for us,” explains Jennifer. And at each Games, she is reminded of the passion and drive her daughter, and her fellow competitors possess. “Like all athletes, they are out to get gold medals and win. The difference is that if you ask any of them, they are doing it for their donor families. They recognize that their lives were saved by these families who chose organ donation - the significance is not lost on them.”
“Allison understands she wouldn’t be here, living this abundant, vibrant life, if it weren’t for her donor family. She makes every minute count.”- Jennifer Herr
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Q&A with Jennifer
WHAT DO THE TRANSPLANT GAMES MEAN TO YOU?
It’s not about winning; it’s about life. To go from being so sick and sleeping all day, to running, swimming, and competing is an amazing experience. The Transplant Games are a time to reflect, to honor donor families and get the most out of the second chance at life.
HOW HAS TRANSPLANATION IMPACTED YOUR LIFE?
We are forever grateful for organ donation. Without it, we too would be grieving the loss of a child. We are thankful each day and night to have our child and see her thrive in life.
The Transplant Games of America is a six-day, festival style event that brings together the entire transplant community to celebrate the gift of life and to honor those who have given the gift of life.
Please consider donating to this special 30th Birthday Celebration so that we can continue to save lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.
The Transplant Games of America is an initiative of the Transplant Life Foundation, the nation's leading advocacy non-profit for those in the donation and transplantation community. To learn more about the Foundation, the Games and the work we do, visit our websites!