Ask me the most gratifying moment I've had since getting my kidney transplant in 2004 and there's no doubt: It was the day at the 2012 Transplant Games of America in Michigan when I saw my donor and friend, Larry Becker, honored with a plaque in the living donor recognition ceremony. No one ever deserved an honor more. Then I looked around and saw many, many other living donors and their recipients and realized he is not alone; there are a lot of tremendously generous people out there and when they get together at the Games, you can feel the deep power of their combined deeds.
I've done more than 20 triathlons since my transplant, traveled to exotic places, seen my son graduate from high school and college and become a part of my twin granddaughters' lives. All because of Larry. It's to honor him and the other donors, alive and deceased, that I swim and bowl and compete in many sports at the Games. Nothing can match the Games for letting people know how powerful transplants can be. And all the time I'm swimming or playing some sport, I know that Larry can see his kidney do its spectacular work. I can only imagine what other donors feel while they're watching us all compete as if there was never anything wrong with us, when the truth is that everyone in the pool or on the track or at the lanes or on the court was once very seriously ill or near death