The Donate Life Transplant Games has honored Buffalo resident Barbara Breckenridge as its Female Athlete of the Year for 2018. The Transplant Games is a national multi-sport festival which took place from August 2-7 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Breckenridge received a kidney transplant at Erie County Medical Center in 1999. She has participated in national transplant games and the World Transplant Games since 2002, earning more than 50 medals. She participated as part of Team Buffalo. Fifteen local athletes – transplant recipients and living donors – were joined by family members of organ, eye and tissue donors, as well as others touched by donation and transplantation. Unyts and the Kidney Foundation of Western New York supported Team Buffalo’s journey to Salt Lake City.
The Donate Life Transplant Games highlight the critical importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation, while celebrating the lives of organ donors and recipients.
“The Games bring awareness and show how transplantation saves lives,” Breckenridge said. “Most people here – myself included – were sick for a very long time. When we finally got transplanted, our lives were changed forever. We’re doing things we thought we would never do. We’re going places we thought we would never go.”
Breckenridge is the director of patient services for the Kidney Foundation of Western New York. She provides peer counseling for dialysis patients, transplant patients and their families, and also facilitates a kidney support group at ECMC.
Way to go, Barbara!!!!