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Ramiro Swims for the Gold

Ramiro Martinez is among the many Team Illinois members celebrating a transplant anniversary this month. Ramiro, from Yorkville, received a heart transplant on Nov. 1, 2012, at Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago. Now 18 Ramiro graduated from Marmion Academy in May 2021. He plans to study nursing at Milwaukee School of Engineering. Ramiro has competed in two transplant games and is looking forward to honoring his donor at the 2022 Games in San Diego.

“We feel very blessed and appreciative of the gift of life, and that Ramiro has the opportunity to compete in the Transplant Games,” say mom Renee Brockman. She recalls how quickly his illness took hold. “He came down with what we thought was the flu in October 2012,” she says. “He was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy, and spent just four days on the transplant list. We still don’t know why his heart grew so large so quickly.”

Ramiro joined his high school swim team as a freshman in 2018, the same year he signed up to compete in the 50m breaststroke and 50-and 100m freestyle in Salt Lake City. He also enjoys bass fishing, baseball and reading.

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