Team Illinois TGA Manager
John Kachanuk serves as manager of Team Illinos for the 2020 Transplant Games in the Meadowlands, New Jersey.
John has been involved with Team Illinois since 2016 when he first competed in Cleveland. He currently serves as vice president of Transplant Life Illinois as well as as an ambassador for both Allograft and Gift of Hope.
A resident of Havana [Illinois], John works as chief of that city’s fire department and gives his time to several industry and trade associations.
A runner all his life, it was actually weightlifting that first put John in the hospital 15 years ago. On and off battles with back pain and in his lower legs eventually led to spine fusion surgery Feb. 8, 2013, at Methodist Hospital in Peoria (now Unity Point).
“I had horrible back pain that wouldn’t allow me to do much other than get comfortable,” he says. “I loved doing anything physical – yard work, house renovation, weight lifting and running.”
Doctors told him that his pain would be gone and with it his active lifestyle. Thanks to his donor, John overcame the odds: He competed in 2017 in his first-ever Tough Mudder, a hardcore obstacle race that challenges the toughest of athletes. And he has competed in two Transplant Games, the team’s only bone graft/tissue transplant recipient to compete in Salt Lake City.
You may reach out to John at .
Team Illinois Co-Manager
Brian Stiner has competed in multiple sports in eight Transplant Games, and this year signs on as co-manager of Team Illinois for the 2020 TGA. Brian previously served Transplant Life Illinois as vice president and team sports captain during the 2018 Games.
Diagnosed with IgA nephropathy as a young adult, Stiner soon needed a kidney. His sister became his hero donor on June 22, 2001, at the University of Chicago Hospital. His transplant has enabled him to continue traveling with his job as an engineer, share in adventures with his family, and compete in various Games around the country.
Brian, a resident of Batavia, looks forward to once again playing team volleyball and playing for the Spare Parts basketball team in the Meadowlands.
You can reach Brian at .