We are grateful for the ongoing support from the entire donation and transplant community in bringing the Transplant Games of America to New Jersey. Please see update below from Bill Ryan, President & CEO, Transplant Games of America. To get involved or for questions, contact our Foundation office at 908-516-5429 or foundation@njsharingnetwork.org

February 2, 2021

Greetings,

We hope you are having a safe and healthy start to the new year. COVID-19 continues to affect every community including our immunosuppressed population. Despite these challenges, the transplant community has remained resilient and hopeful, and planning for the Transplant Games has continued with the safety of our community as our number one priority. In December 2020 when the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were approved there was optimism that we would reach herd immunity in early 2021. However, the rollout of the two vaccines has not gone according to plan, and in light of the current vaccination status we have decided to restructure the Games. We feel the new format will protect participants while at the same time help meet our goal to highlight the critical need for more organs in the vast New Jersey/New York metropolitan area.

With a 30-year history of successfully promoting organ, eye and tissue donation, and a restructured program ensuring the safe participation of our attendees, we are confident that the 2020 Donate Life Transplant Games will still shatter all records for participation, media exposure, education, and awareness.

The Transplant Life Foundation will not waiver from its mission – this July the Transplant Games will “Honor the Journey… Coast to Coast”. The reformatted Games will take place in hometowns all across the country, providing the Transplant Games of America with a unique opportunity to reinforce our mission.

Our signature events will be produced and aired from New Jersey at their regularly scheduled times. There is no live audience planned.

Virtual Special events will take place between May and July with specific dates to be determined.

The following competitions will be offered in 2021 with registered athletes competing in their hometowns and submitting scores. Competitions can take place between May 1 and July 1, 2021. For the 2020 Transplant Games we will be awarding a gold medal for every completed competition for which a valid score is submitted.

Detailed information on competitions will be available on the Transplant Games website by mid-February.

The 5K competition titled “5K to the Meadowlands” deserves a special mention as there will be two components to this event. Individuals will compete in an official 5K in their own community and submit their times to obtain a medal. In addition, we will be offering a cash prize to the team with the most creative one-to-two-minute video, filmed at or during the race, and submitted for judging. A registered team must consist of at least six runners and their video must include a mock-up (or real) torch. Prize money will be in the form of a donation to the team’s 501(c)3 organization.

Future registrations will be offered at a reduced rate and individuals already registered will receive a partial credit toward the 2022 Transplant Games in San Diego. Every individual registered will receive a commemorative gold medal in celebration of this unique one-of-a-kind event. Registrants will also be shipped a SWAG box that will include a souvenir credential, a modified program (TransplantNATION magazine), official 2020 commemorative t-shirt, TGA pin, and additional surprises as well. The registration system will be temporarily disabled to make the necessary modifications and will be re-opened on February 15, 2020.
There are additional discussions underway that may include a film series, sponsor exhibits, and virtual chats for attendees to meet and greet. Stay tuned for details.

Although there are many details to finalize, I want to reassure everyone that our mission remains unchanged. Our goal has always been to highlight the unparalleled success of transplantation and to honor the thousands of donors whose sacrifice makes it all possible. We are relying on the strength of our transplant community to keep moving forward – focusing others on the tremendous need for more organs. Here are the numbers waiting in the NJ-NY area.

Finally, we would like to recognize the tremendous work of the Meadowlands Local Organizing Committee over the last four years, leading a team of dedicated professionals in supporting the greatest donation and transplantation event in the world. Special thanks to Joe Roth and Elisse Glennon of the NJ Sharing Network for their unwavering leadership.

Stay well and thank you,

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