Transplant Games wrap up with renewed cognizance, friendships

One woman's son saved six lives by donating organs.

Jim Melwert
August 07, 2018 - 3:36 pm
2018 Transplant Games of America

Jim Melwert | KYW Newsradio

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SALT LAKE CITY (KYW Newsradio) — The final competitions are wrapping up, and the closing ceremonies of the 2018 Transplant Games of America finish up Tuesday night. 

These are the first Transplant Games for Team Philly’s Wendell Burke, a kidney recipient. He received a new kidney a couple years ago after being on dialysis for seven years.

"I went from hating dialysis to talking to people who are on dialysis and telling them, 'Never give up hope,' " he said.

Looking back, he said, he's met so many people with incredible stories.

He shared one of those stories, from a woman he met who lost her son.

" 'I’m sad he's not here.' And I said, 'Well, what did he donate?' And she told me he donated a liver, two kidneys, two lungs, and a heart."

Burke said he told her that her son is a hero for saving six lives, and she’s a hero for raising him.

"So she says, 'Can you do me one more favor? Can you give me hug?' So she laid her head on my shoulder and she said, 'I feel better now.' "

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KYW Newsradio's Jim Melwert, a living kidney donor, is competing with Team Philadelphia.