As you know by now, the 2020 Donate Life Transplant Games of America have been rescheduled for July 16-20, 2021, in Meadowlands, New Jersey. As we pivot to accommodate new guidelines, we also focus on the people who make Team Illinois one of the longest-running teams to compete at the Games. The year was 1990 to be exact when a rag-tag group of transplant recipients formed the Spare Parts basketball team and started bringing home medals. Today Team Illinois competitors vy for medals in more than 20 athletic events and continue to build camaraderie through competition while commemorating the lives of their donors. We hope to inspire transplant recipients, living donors, and donor family members from all over the state of Illinois to join with us as we "Journey to 2021."
Tonight the spotlight is on David Farmer.
Within three weeks of having symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis, David Farmer was in dire need of a liver transplant. He says he was in such bad shape, he doesn’t remember much about the operation at Northwestern on, Feb. 18, 2011, except it was “the day after my donor passed away.” Farmer, who lives in Chicago, grew up in Cleveland, home of the 2016 Transplant Games. He swam for the high school district championships in the same pool at Cleveland State in which he competed and won a gold, silver and bronze medal. A dedicated health enthusiast and social media presence, Farmer enjoys travel, martial arts, cross fit and all outdoor activities. He not only swam again for Team Illinois in 2018 but also participated in the softball throw.