Sallie Wilson, 61
Donor Mom and Pancreas-Kidney Recipient
Mt. Sterling, KY
Transplant Games Attended: 1998, 2000, 2002,2004, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018
In 1996, Sallie’s son Jimmy died in a car accident. His tissue and corneas were used to save and heal lives. Sallie then began working with a local group of moms to promote organ donation, and as a donor family liaison at the Transplant Games of America.
Team Manager of Second Chance @ Life Team Kentucky for the past six years, Sallie refers to the Transplant Games of America as the most exciting and rewarding time of one’s transplant/donor family life. “It is so exciting to see people doing things that at one time in their lives were impossible, but now they are able to do because of the GIFT that was given to them.” Sallie experienced the miracle of transplantation again in 2007 when she received a simultaneous pancreas-kidney transplant. “Being able to live a normal life with my transplant and feeling great, it is a true blessing. I live each day for my donors.” Sallie finds comfort and hope in being part of the transplant community and attending the Transplant Games as a donor mom, donor family liaison, team manager AND recipient.
Q&A with Sallie
“I love that the Transplant Games show the world that transplantation really works!”- Sallie Wilson
Donate today to help the Transplant Games continue our amazing work!
WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL TAKEAWAY FROM BEING A PART OF THE TRANSPLANT COMMUNITY?
This community showcases how fragile life can be at times. It is one of a kind. It is a BIG part of my life and it has been for a long time – I have a whole new family from all over the USA now. The new friends that you make, that are going through what you have gone through, is so real.
HOW HAS BEING A PART OF THE TRANSPLANT GAMES IMPACTED YOUR LIFE?
The Games in Houston hold a special place in my heart. I got to carry the opening ceremony torch to the person lighting the cauldron and I won my first medal – Gold! I love every minute of the Games. I love the people and all the stories. You make friends for life that are on the same journey you are – it is the best week ever!
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NON-COMPETITION EVENT AT THE TRANSPLANT GAMES?
I really do not have an absolute favorite as I love them all---BUT the Donor Tribute is the best. We honor those heroes that gave the gift of life and their families.
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!