Frequently Asked Questions
The games are a multi-sport festival event to help promote the need for Organ & Tissue donation. The purpose is to show the world that transplantation is a treatment that does indeed work.
The games started as a way to get the word out about the important need for organ donation and that is our goal today. Over the years it has grown into an event that brought transplant and donor families together. As a Donor Family you may not meet the person that has your loved ones organ, but you get a chance to see how your donation has changed someone else life. As a transplant recipient you get to show the world that having a transplant is a second chance at life.
Some organ donation statistics and proof of why our job isn't finished **
Michigan residents waiting for organs
In 2010, the generosity of Michigan organ donors resulted in 792 organs transplanted, saving hundreds of lives. Transplants so far in 2011 total 628. Michigan patients waiting for a transplant as of Nov. 1, 2011.
Michigan Source: Gift of Life Michigan - Facts and Figures
National Source: Donate Life America - Understand Donation
The West Michigan Sports Commission has agreed to be the primary organizer to put on the 2012 Transplant Games of America in Grand Rapids. WMSC is a 501 c (3) whose mission is "to promote Michigan's West Coast as the premier venue for hosting a diverse level of youth and amateur sporting events, enhancing the economy and quality of life in the region." WMSC currently puts on the Meijer State Games of MI (link) which is a multi-sport festival complete with opening ceremonies. In 2010 the Meijer States Games of MI ran 15 sports with over 3,500 athletes. In 2011 the games consisted of 24 sports and estimated 4,000 athletes from across Michigan.
For more information please visit the West Michigan Sports Commission Web Site
West Michigan Sports Commission
171 Monroe Ave. NW - Suite 700
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Transplant Games of America and the Grand Rapids Local Organizing Committee
TJ Maciak is the lead founder of both Transplant Games of America and the Grand Rapids Local Organizing Committee. Other Primary Members of the GR L.O.C. include Holly Werlein, Jan Getz, Teresa Snyder and Oliver "CHEF O" Hale.
July 28-31, 2012
Tentative sporting events include:
- 5K run (open to the public)
- Table Tennis
- Track & Field
We are also evaluating having special events such as (but not limited to) Art Therapy, Bingo and a bowling competition between teams of Donor Recipient and Living Donors vs other teams of similar members. More information on these special events will be relayed to you as they are figured out.
Most of the events will be held at Grand Valley State University which is in the Grand Rapids area and is located in beautiful West Michigan!
Anyone can participate in the games REGARDLESS of where you live. This means international participants can participate if they wish. If you are both a transplant recipient and team leader you are welcome to participate as well! To participate as an athlete you must meet the following* requirements:
- Have received a life saving transplant (regardless if you are taking anti-rejection meds or not)
- Transplant has occurred at least 9 months prior to the start of the games
- You are in healthy condition
- Your doctor has signed a medical waiver allowing you to participate
- You have signed a form stating that you meet all the above requirements
Note: Both living donors and donor families can participate! Check the FAQ "Are living donors and donor families welcome at TGA?"
* - Participation terms subject to change. Last updated 08/25/11
Yes, absolutely! Living donors will be eligible to compete in all individual sports offered (check each sport page for further clarification). Also, a special recognition of donor families will take part in our special events! More information will be available shortly.
Individuals should sign up for the team in their state/region of residence, not the state/region where they received their transplant. Some exceptions will need to be made on an individual case basis. Please see our Teams page for the most current contact information.
According to our logo designer, Mika Denny at MikaWorks Promo Design
I used the star themed logo for a variety of reasons:
• Incorporates the American flag symbol for states
• Three stars symbolizes the donor, the recipient and the families of both
• I’ll never forget my daughter’s transplant GI doctor looking at her during a checkup and saying “She’s a Star”
• There is an old Eskimo saying about stars in regards to people who have passed on... “Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.”
You will also see symbolic references to shining and radiating which stars do. Donors do this too. The ripple effect of their gift at death continues to shine through their recipients.
No, the events will take place at the same time, so athletes must choose between doubles bowling and mixed doubles bowling.
No, you must create a new username and password. We suggest using your email address as your username.
Athletes can participate in up to 4 individual sports, not including the team sports (basketball and volleyball). Athletes can participate in as many events within an individual sport as they want. For example, an athlete can sign up for the sport Swimming and the events 100 freestyle, 50 backstroke, 50 butterfly and 200 individual medley. Those are all events within the sport swimming. This athlete would still have three other individual sports to choose from.
Yes, please see the information below and visit the Sports tab for complete information.
Athletes will compete by gender in the following age groups: 14-17, 18–29,
30–39, 40–49, 50–59, 60–69, and 70+. Children under 14 years of age will
compete in designated children’s events in the following age groups: 5 and
under, 6-10, and 11-13. Age on the day of the Opening Ceremony will apply.
Volleyball, 3-on-3 basketball, relay events in track and swimming and the mixed
doubles events will be one open age category—i.e., no age classifications. All
other events are age categorized. In doubles events that are age-categorized, if
the members of a pair are in different age groups, the pair will be classified in the
younger age group. If one of the players is under 18, the pair will play in the
Try using your email address as your user name when registering.
No, unfortunately we cannot accommodate individual scheduling requests to work around overlapping times. Athletes can register for overlapping events at their own risk, as we cannot guarantee that scheduling will permit participation in both.