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About FAQs
  • FAQ's

The games are a multi-sport festival event to help promote the need for Organ, Eye, and 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 and tissue 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.

National Statistics

United States residents waiting for organs
Kidney 94,301
Liver 12,646
Heart 3,657
Lung 1,274
Kidney/Pancreas  1,735
Pancreas 867
Intestine 239
Heart/Lung 52
TOTAL 112,046

Source: United Network for Organ Sharing - Facts and Figures 
Based on OPTN data as of March 10, 2020)
Totals may be less than the sums due to patients included in multiple categories.

Registration for the 2020 Games will open at a later date.

The 2020 Transplant Games of America will be held July 16-21, 2021, at the Meadowlands of New Jersey.

Tentative medaling events include:

  • 5K Run/Walk (open to the public)
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Ballroom Dancing
  • Bowling
  • Cornhole (Bean Bag Toss)
  • Cycling
  • Darts
  • Golf
  • Lyrics for Life
  • Pickleball
  • Poker (Texas Hold'em)
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • Tennis
  • Track & Field
  • Trivia
  • Virtual Triathlon
  • Volleyball
  • Youth Olympiad
Tentative special events include:
  • Closing Ceremony & Farewell Reception
  • Coffee House
  • Donor Tribute Ceremony
  • Live! From the TGA
  • Opening Ceremony
  • TGA Village
  • Quarter Century Club Dinner
  • Quilt Pinning Ceremony
  • Welcome Reception
  • Workshops & Seminars

The 2020 Transplant Games of America will be held July 16-21, 2021, at the Meadowlands of New Jersey.

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 Division One, Division Two or Donor Family requirements:

Division One Requirements: Have received a life-altering solid organ transplant (regardless if you are taking anti-rejection meds)
Division Two Requirements: You are a Living Donor, Tissue, Cornea, or Bone Marrow Transplant Recipient.
Donor Family Requirements: You are a donor family member. 

Other Requirements: 

  • Transplant has occurred at least 9 months prior to the start of the Games.
  • Can only compete on the state team you reside in or the state you had your transplant. The other option would be to compete as a "non-state affiliate" 
  • You are in healthy condition.
  • Your doctor has signed a medical waiver allowing you to participate.
  • You have signed a waiver 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.

Yes, absolutely! Living donors will be eligible to compete in eligible individual sports offered (check each sport page for further clarification). Also, a special recognition of Donor Families will take place as part of our special event programming! New for the 2020 Transplant Games, Donor Families are allowed to compete! They will be able to participate in the 5k, Dancing with the Scars, Lyrics for Life, and Trivia. 

Individuals are allowed to sign up for the team in their state of residence, or the state 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

The star themed logo was used for a variety of reasons:

  • To incorporate the American flag symbol for the states
  • The three stars symbolize: the Donor, the Recipient, and the Families of both
  • 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 light which stars do. Donors do this too. The ripple effect of their gift at death continues to shine through their recipients.  
Mika says, "I’ll never forget my daughter’s transplant GI doctor looking at her during a checkup and saying 'She’s a Star'”

Only badminton and bowling are competitors allowed to compete in both regular and mixed doubles. This is subject to change. 

**Division 1 and Division 2 athletes can only play with other athletes in their same division and same team for regular doubles.
**Mixed doubles is where a MALE and FEMALE from the same team and same division are partnered together. (This needs to be clear to all participants.)
*NOTE: Athletes are responsible of finding their own partner for double's competitions. 

Athletes can participate in up to 5 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 four other individual sports to choose from.

Yes, please see the information below and visit the Age Division Link in the About Tab for complete information.

Age Groups

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, team relay events in track and swimming, lyrics for life, and trivia challenge 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 adult category.

1. Try using your email address as your user name when registering.
2. Make sure you have not already started an existing registration. Check your cart. 
3. If those do not work please call (616) 356-2331.

No, unfortunately we cannot accommodate individual scheduling requests to work around overlapping times. In addition, competitors are only allowed to compete in one competition per day with the exception of team sports (basketball and volleyball)

This incredible event is made possible by many volunteers, like yourself, who want to be a part of something special. While the 2020 Donate Life Transplant Games will officially take place in July of 2020, it’s never too early to step up and help. 

Generally, the Games are supported by more than 3,000 volunteers. Many volunteers invite their friends and family to be a part of the experience with them. We welcome large groups, like corporations, fraternities/sororities, community clubs, sports teams, or other organizations that would like to work together to support this great event.

There are so many ways you can help, from greeting and assisting our athletes to lending a hand during competitions and special events. Each volunteer shift is four hours long and you can choose any open volunteer activity that you’d like.

Click HERE to register as a volunteer for the 2020 Donate Life Transplant Games. Once the final positions and shifts are determined, we’ll reach out to registered volunteers via email, and you can choose the dates, times, and roles that work best for you.