2000 US Transplant Games
We got to go to the 2000 US Transplant Games in Lake Buena Vista, Florida from June 21-24. It was really amazing! The Transplant Games are like the Olympics, only all of the athletes have had a transplant! Donor families also get to go and are honored.

We had to raise money so that we could go and my 1st grade class helped me! They sold suckers during lunch time at school and they raised over $100! They also had kids at school donate aluminum cans so that we could recycle them and use the money to get to there.

They even talked about me and my class in our newspaper, the Billings Gazette. My Mommy scanned in the article, or you can read the On-Line Article.

It was really hard getting there. Our first plane was 3 hours late and so we missed our connecting flight in Denver! Luckily Mommy had brought some travel games for us to play while we waited. We finally got to Florida at about 11pm!

We got to stay at a really neat place, The Disney's All-Star Music Resort!. Our building had top hats and canes on it!

Our first day we had to stand in a really long line to get registered. It was very hot there! We got cool tags to wear around our necks and a sports bag and lots of other things. We also got to go to a lunch meeting with my team. Team Rocky Mountain! That team includes people from Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. I was the only kid from Montana, but there were other kids on my team.

That night we had the Opening Ceremonies. We all got to walk in with our team just like at the Olympics. Unfortunatly just about every night a storm would come through and we had to go inside the building to wait. They were afraid that someone might get hit by lightning. It was so hard to wait. There were people there from all over the United States and even from other countries! After we all came into the stadium and sat down, the donor families came in. Everybody stood up and clapped! My Mommy told me that those people had someone they loved that died and they gave their organs to people who needed a transplant like me! They had a lot of people talk and some of them had organ transplants too! There was a basketball player named Sean Elliot, he got a kidney from his brother. Then there was a guy named Larry Hagman. He had a liver transplant and he even showed us his scar! Mommy said he has been on TV shows. There were lots more people, but I can't remember who they all were! They had a party after the Opening Ceremony, but it was so late that we just went back to our room and went to sleep.

The Games were hosted by Disney and most of the events were at Disney's Wide World of Sports. We had to wait a long time for my event because of the weather. I did the 50 meter dash, but my Mommy didn't get any pictures of that. I was scared and upset and made my Mommy run with me. I came in last, but my Mommy said that doesn't matter. I want to go again, but next time I will not run. I want to do bowling!

Something else neat about going there was that we got to spend a little bit of time at the Disney theme parks! We didn't have enough time to see everything, but it was fun. We went to Disney/MGM Studios, but it was so late when we got there that most everything was closed. I did get to see a Muppet show! I was scared, but the nice lady told me that it was not scary, so I went in. I'm glad I did! On a different day we went to the Magic Kingdom. I was a little scared to go on the rides there too, but I did go on the Winnie the Pooh ride. My Daddy pushed me in a stroller because I got tired easy. I barely fit! We also got to see part of the Animal Kingdom. I liked seeing all the different kinds of animals. Maybe someday we will get to go back there and see everything.

We had a Closing Cermonies too. Some people from Louisiana had beads they were throwing down just like for Mardi Gras! One of the ladies who was up there was a lady my Mommy e-mails with! She gave a kidney to her son too, but he's older than me. I got a string of beads and so did Mommy. More people talked at the Closing Cermonies and we got to watch a video that they had made from different parts of the games. Then we all got to go to a party at Typhoon Lagoon. It's a waterpark. I didn't want to go on any of the slides, but my Mommy and I rode around this little river type thing. My Daddy didn't want to swim. We also got to go into this big pool that had real waves! Mommy had to pick me up when the waves came or I would have got pulled away!

It was kind of sad when we had to go home. And of course some of our flights were late again. I don't think I've ever spent that much time in the airport! I told Mommy that I want to go to the next US Transplant Games in 2002. That would be so fun! Maybe I can see some of the kids I met again and my Mommy can see her e-mail friends again! My Mommy still has my Transplant Games Fund going at the bank. We will have to pay to get to the games next time too, so if you want to help with that you can see my Transplant Games Fund Page.















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