2018 Transplant Games continue in Salt Lake City

Jim Melwert
August 04, 2018 - 11:36 pm

Jim Melwert | KYW Newsradio

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SALT LAKE CITY (KYW Newsradio) — The 2018 Transplant Games are continuing in Salt Lake City, which celebrate organ donation and raise awareness of the need for donors.

Janet Dennis, a swimmer with Team Philly, said she didn’t start swimming until she was 50.

"When I received a heart transplant," she said, "they said you have to join a gym. I hate to sweat, so let’s get wet."

A virus attacked her heart, leading to the transplant. She chose to practice the backstroke because in addition to her heart condition, she has lung issues as well. 

"This is my seventh U.S. games," she said, "and I’ve been to five worlds. And I have earned 45 medals."

She puts them to good use — some to her donor family or doctors, others to patients at Penn Health, where she serves as a chaplain on the same floor where she lived for six months while she waited for a heart.

"It’s just amazing because they look at me all like  I say, ‘Well, if I can do it, you can do it.' "

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