A Grateful “Rookie”
ABOVE: Matt Scroggy and girlfriend, Abby at the U.S. Transplant Games
When I first heard that the U. S. Transplant Games existed, it was something that I immediately began to look forward to because for most people, once high school ends, so do their athletic careers.
On July 28, 2009 I received the “Gift of Life” in the form of a kidney transplant at the Ohio State Medical Center. Exactly one year and two days after I received a kidney from my sister I was on the road to Madison, Wisc. to experience my very first U.S.Transplant Games. Being 24 years old and fairly athletic, I didn’t know what to expect; all I knew was that I wanted to win one medal and do as many events as possible. I competed in nine events and won four medals, two bronze and two silver. I had a wonderful time competing and was excited to surpass my goal of one medal!
However, the competition is only a small part of what the U.S. Transplant Games are all about. For me, the Games allowed me to meet and interact with other people who have gone through the transplant experience. In our daily life, we don’t often meet people who have experienced what it is like to go through a transplant, but being in a place where you can compare stories and scars with someone you just competed against, is a feeling that far surpasses any medal.
Just when I thought I was getting used to Madison, the week ended. It’s that feeling like when your week of camp was over as a kid, you are sad to leave your new friends and re-enter the real world. But, I know that in two short years, wherever the next games are located, I can compete against my new friends, catch up on life and celebrate the fact that we can still play the sports we love. I am grateful that my sister, Sarah, my donor, gave me this “second chance” at a life of sports and fun!