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Transplant Games of America – July 16-21, 2021

July 16, 2021 - July 21, 2021

The 2020 Transplant Games of America were postponed last summer as the Covid-19 restrictions did not allow for in person events. New Jersey had planned was ready to welcome its most inspiring event – the Transplant Games of America – July 16-21, 2021. Thousands of people from all 50 states and beyond planned  travel to New Jersey to unite, honor the families who have given the gift of life and ultimately raise awareness of organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation.  The plan was to move to July 2021.

UPDATE FROM TGA and Transplant Life Foundation Executive Director Bill Ryan:    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.

               July 16, 2021   Zoom of Athletes
               July 16, 2021   Opening Ceremony
               July 17, 2021   Living Donor Celebration
               July 18, 2021   Donor Tribute
July 19, 2021   Salute to our Veterans and Road to San Diego        

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

      * TGA Flag Signing Events          * Transplant Community Webcasts
* Two Coffee House Events         * Quarter Century Club Recognition
* Quilt-Pinning Ceremony           * Transplant Games Orientation
* Reflection Room

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

Detailed information on competitions is available on the Transplant Games website.

 * Singles Bowling                                              * Trivia Challenge
* Singles Golf                                                      * Youth Olympiad
* Track (times events only)                                * Cycling
* Swimming                                                         * Texas Hold’em
* Lyrics for Life (semi-finalist)                           * Tx Tok
* Ballroom Dancing                                            * “5K to the Meadowlands”

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. Registration for the 2020 Donate Life Transplant Games will be opening soon.

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.

                      Total Patients   11,519                                   Kidney    9,933
Liver                   1,021                                   Heart         360
Lung                      120                                  Children     137

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,

Bill Ryan
President and CEO
Transplant Games of America
c/o Transplant Life Foundation


July 16, 2021
July 21, 2021
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Meadowlands Sports Complex
50 NJ-120
East Rutherford, NJ 07073 United States


Transplant Life Foundation
Transplant Games of America