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This New Jersey Town Will Host the 2020 Donate Life Transplant Games

Picture of Katherine Oakes
Updated: 12 March 2018

Just a stone’s throw outside of New York City, the town of East Rutherford, New Jersey is home to the New York Giants and thousands of sports lovers. Now, they are about to bring a whole new meaning to being a good sport in hosting the Donate Life Transplant Games.

The urban town of East Rutherford, New Jersey is known for many things: its expansive Meadowlands, for being an intersection of a number of major highways and, most notably, the Metlife Stadium – home to the New York Giants football team. However, in just two short years, East Rutherford will be able to add host of the Donate Life Transplant Games to its long list of accolades as well, and it’s a perfect match.

This unique multi-sport event is open only to a special kind of athlete and team leader — those who have received a life-saving organ, tissue, cornea or bone marrow transplant or are a living donor themselves. The games are a one-of-a-kind celebration of life that underscores the importance of transplants and why everyone should be a donor, plus the resilient community that is created from that experience.

For six days, individuals and teams compete together and on their own in sports such as swimming, basketball, volleyball and marathon running — an impressive feat that emphasizes the strength of these organ donors and recipients. They even have a Reflection Room that offers families and friends a space to honor the lives of loved ones they lost to organ failure or other complications.

As to why they chose East Rutherford for the 2020 event, Bill Ryan, President and CEO of Transplant Games, said: “There were many compelling bids to host the Transplant Games but it was clear that the Meadowlands Liberty Convention & Visitors Bureau and NJ Sharing Network were the right partners to make this the best Transplant Games ever.”

Many locals who live near or frequent the area are familiar with the area’s top-notch facilities and close proximity to New York City, which Ryan and his team hope will attract more visitors and attendees to help raise funds and awareness about the issue. When asked about what the games represent for East Rutherford and the metro area, Jim Kirkos, President and CEO of Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, said: “Hosting the Transplant Games, ‘live from the Meadowlands,’ home of world renowned major sporting events, will not only showcase the incredible competitors but it will elevate the awareness and importance of organ and tissue donation advancing the Donate Life cause. We are extremely honored and proud to be a partner of the 2020 games.”

If you’re interested in learning more about the Transplant Games or want to know more about Donate Life visit their website here for more information.