January 11th, 1991 was the first day of training, 4 1/2 months after my liver transplant. I had not been able to swim for two years.
As a Rookie on the Canadian Transplant Games team I would like to extend thanks to the "Veterans" and fellow athletes for making the games a success. It was a wonderful experience to celebrate my ONE year "Transplant anniversary" on the Opening Day of the 8th World Transplant Games in Budapest, Hungary. I had heard that the games are not just about winning medals, but I wasn't so sure. So, off to Hungary with someone I hardly knew, to swim and play table tennis in an international competition.
January 11th, 1991 was the first day of training, 4 1/2 months after my liver transplant. I had not been able to swim for two years... I started out swimming one length of the pool an now, exactly one year later 1500 meters is considered a warm up! There was not much pressure on me to excel at these games, but rather to do my best and to be able to finish the race, (the same day it started!). After all Heather aka eater, aka H-H-H-Heather, had assured me that the last person to finish the race receives the biggest applause. I was lucky to win 5 medals and they will always serve as reminders of how fortunate and grateful I am to the donor family to have a second chance at life.
Perhaps, because of our initiation into this distinct group is so unique, there seems to be a strong sense of camaraderie in the competition......one in which everyone is a winner.
In Health and Happiness
8th World Transplant Games in Budapest, Hungary, August 26th-31, 1991
- Janet Brady