Transplant Life Illinois team members gathered April 21, 2018, at The Bean in downtown Chicago to help set a new Guinness Book world record. Organized by Laurie Dickinson Lee from Transplant Village and Kate Griggs from Northwestern Medical, the event brought together 438 living donors for what surely will be the largest gathering of living donors in the world. More than 1,200 people attended the event.
"We should know by the end of summer," said Brad Szczecinski, president of Transplant Life Illinois and a member of the board of Transplant Village. "Thanks to everyone who came out to support organ and tissue donation, to volunteers who worked the table, and special thanks to Transplant Village for inviting us to participate in the festivities."
Transplant Life Illinois sponsored a table and a 50/50 raffle, which brought in more than $2,000. Half the proceeds will go towards expenses for competitors at the 2018 Transplant Games Aug 2-7 in Salt Lake City. Mark Samel, donor family liaison along with his wife Pat, and Sound Check Entertainment provided the sound system and emcee capabilities.
The official flag of the Transplant Games caught the crowd's attention. It arrived in Chicago just in time for team members and some dignitaries, such as Secretary of State Jesse White and Superintendent Eddie Johnson of the Chicago Police Department, to sign it.