Reno liver recipient named ‘Outstanding Female Athlete of the World Transplant Games’
RENO/TRUCKEE – Liver transplant recipient Tracy Copeland wowed the world with her athletic feats at the 18th World Transplant Games in Göteborg, Sweden, June 17-24. Copeland returned to the states with six gold medals to her name, winning first place in her age group (40-49), for the 3K Run, Team 3K Run, 5K Cycling Time Trials, 20K Cycling Road Race, Virtual Triathlon and 1500 Meter Run. She also was one of the USA Silver Medalists in the 4×400 Track Relay.
The World Transplant Games are held every other year, and work to raise awareness of the benefits of organ donation and transplantation through sport and physical activity. Thousands of people come from all over the world to pay tribute to organ donation, the success of transplantation and to recognize organ donors and donor families
“This was my third time participating in the World Transplant Games,” said Copeland. “My liver failed suddenly 13 years ago, for unknown reasons. A young man, 19-year-old Terry Snow, gave me a second chance at life when he became a donor following a fatal motorcycle accident. I met his family on the one year anniversary of my transplant, and my donor’s mom, Kathy Snow, told me about the Transplant Games. We’ve become very close and seek out opportunities like the Transplant Games to tell our story and raise awareness about the tremendous need for donations. This is a great avenue to show success of transplants, and to honor Terry and his family.”
Tracy is President of Sierra Nevada Donate Life a nonprofit organization that raises awareness of the growing need for organ and tissue donation, while at same time providing support for people personally touched by donation and transplantation. The volunteers host an annual signature event the “Donate Life Walk for Awareness,” which will be held Sept. 25, 2011 in Sparks, Nev.
Copeland’s sister, Truckee Town Clerk Judy Price, says her sister inspires her to live life to its fullest. “She’s my hero– healthy enough now that she regularly participates in triathlons and half ironman competitions. It’s all because her donor, Terry, gave her a second chance at life. We urge everyone in Nevada and California to give the gift of life through organ and tissue donation. It’s about giving life.”
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