Mission: The North Carolina Transplant Athletes, or Team NC, is a 501(c)(3) organization (IRS EIN: 82-5277492) with the mission to raise awareness for organ donation while fundraising to help our athletes travel to the Transplant Games of America every two years. We do this by encouraging organ donor registration, connecting with the state’s five major transplant centers, and working with like-minded organizations.

TEAM NORTH CAROLINA We want you on our team!

Team NC travels every two years to participate in the Transplant Games of America. Since 1990, the Transplant Games have been held in different cities like Pittsburgh, Houston, and Cleveland across the U.S. See the highlights from Salt Lake City 2018 below!

The 2020 Transplant Games in Meadowlands, New Jersey (reformatted because of Covid-19) is NOW the “Honor the Journey, Coast to Coast” event this spring and summer. Coast to Coast will be a remote and virtual event in which individuals can compete wherever they are and with key events, like the Opening Ceremony, the Donor Family Tribute, and the Living Donor Celebration, being broadcast online. Find out more about Coast to Coast.

The 2022 Transplant Games will be in sunny, San Diego, California, July 29–Aug 3, 2022. Team NC is looking forward to the Games being an in-person event. We’re already gearing up for 2022 — it’s a great time to join the team now!

Team Meetings
Team meetings are held on the first Sunday of the month at 8 pm. Before Covid, most meetings were in-person, and were held in the Triangle, Triad, and Greater-Charlotte areas. Now we meet on Zoom. While it’s not the same as seeing each other face-to-face, it does make attending meetings easier for people spread out across the state. Join our email list for a reminder about each month’s meeting.

I want to join!
Being a part of Team NC includes attending team meetings, helping to fundraise, raising awareness with us about organ donation, or otherwise being involved and engaged. The best way to find out about these opportunities and be a part of the group is to sign up for our email list and follow us on social media. We love to see new faces, so don’t be shy!

One note, when you register for the Transplant Games, make sure to put yourself onto North Carolina Transplant Athletes. That way you can participate in our team sports, receive team shirts (and other swag), and be invited to team gatherings before, during and after the Games. You must either be a resident of NC or have been transplanted in NC to qualify. Being a part of our team may also qualify you for financial assistance to attend the Games.

TEAM NORTH CAROLINA We want you on our team!

Team NC travels every two years to participate in the Transplant Games of America. Since 1990, the Transplant Games have been held in different cities like Pittsburgh, Houston, and Cleveland across the U.S. See the highlights from Salt Lake City 2018 below!

The 2020 Transplant Games in Meadowlands, New Jersey (reformatted because of Covid-19) is NOW the “Honor the Journey, Coast to Coast” event this spring and summer. Coast to Coast will be a remote and virtual event in which individuals can compete wherever they are and with key events, like the Opening Ceremony, the Donor Family Tribute, and the Living Donor Celebration, being broadcast online. Find out more about Coast to Coast.

The 2022 Transplant Games will be in sunny, San Diego, California, July 29–Aug 3, 2022. Team NC is looking forward to the Games being an in-person event. We’re already gearing up for 2022 — it’s a great time to join the team now!

Team Meetings
Team meetings are held on the first Sunday of the month at 8 pm. Before Covid, most meetings were in-person, and were held in the Triangle, Triad, and Greater-Charlotte areas. Now we meet on Zoom. While it’s not the same as seeing each other face-to-face, it does make attending meetings easier for people spread out across the state. Join our email list for a reminder about each month’s meeting.

I want to join!

Being a part of Team NC includes attending team meetings, helping to fundraise, raising awareness with us about organ donation, or otherwise being involved and engaged. The best way to find out about these opportunities and be a part of the group is to sign up for our email list and follow us on social media. We love to see new faces, so don’t be shy!

One note, when you register for the Transplant Games, make sure to put yourself onto North Carolina Transplant Athletes. That way you can participate in our team sports, receive team shirts (and other swag), and be invited to team gatherings before, during and after the Games. You must either be a resident of NC or have been transplanted in NC to qualify. Being a part of our team may also qualify you for financial assistance to attend the Games.

2018 Transplant Games Highlights

Salt Lake City, Utah, Aug 3–7, 2018

  • 6 heart, 4 kidney, 4 double lung, 2 liver and kidney, 1 liver, 1 living kidney donor, and 21 supporters (family members) and friends for a total team size of 39

  • 16 gold medals, 12 silver medals, 6 bronze medals were won by our team members; Jim Gill (kidney recipient), and Yvette Matthews (liver recipient), tied for winning the most medals at 6 each!

  • Metals were won in track & field, swimming, cycling, the virtual triathlon, men’s basketball, tennis, poker, pickleball, badminton, and the 5k

  • Team members were part of a successful Guinness World Records event to assemble the most organ recipients together at one time

  • Team members came from Raleigh, Durham, Greenville, Burlington, Charlotte, Gastonia, Kannapolis, Winston-Salem, Reidsville, Connelly Springs, Fort Mill SC, and Scottsdale AZ, and represented all five transplant centers

WHO WE ARE

President

LAURA SMITH

Laura is a double lung transplant recipient and has been team manager and President of NCTA since 2017.

The Transplant Games was one of the best experiences of my life. I’m so glad I was able to attend and compete with such an fantastic group of people. I can not wait until the 2020 games! It is going to be a great time.

Robin Melendez, Living Kidney Donor

The Transplant Games is the greatest gathering of friends and family you never knew you had. If you’ve had a transplant, you need to go to this event. The 2020 Games should be fantastic and we are all very excited about it.

Laura Pancoast Smith, Double Lung Transplant Recipient

I stay active in my life by dragon boating and riding my bike. At the 2016 Games I actually won a gold medal for biking! There were many times when I would have to start over with my training after going through a health exacerbation — it was so cool to have a physical token to symbolize all that hard work.

Jessica Newport, Double Lung Recipient

I’m very excited to be a part of the Games this year. I was not active in my life pre-transplant. I had a friend whose brother had a transplant and didn’t take care of myself after transplant and that friend made me promise that I would not take my transplant for granted. I have become a certified yoga instructor and cannot wait!

Phelisha Price, Kidney Recipient

IN MEMORY

those we have lost


Keisha Adams
Nov 11, 1971 – June 25, 2019

Keisha (left) was from Rock Hill, SC and received a heart transplant. Though not able to participate as an athlete, she still traveled to the 2018 Transplant Games and cheered on Team NC along with her friend, Marissa (right), and son, Christion (bottom).


Al Milek
Oct 10, 1974 – March 15 2021

Al was from Fuquay-Varina, NC and received a heart transplant. Al and his late wife, Barbara, helped form a Transplant Games Team in North Carolina. Al attended all of the Transplant Games since 2008 and was a well-decorated athlete for both swimming and track.


Ray Schenkel

July 17, 1963 – May 27, 2020

Ray was from Reidsville, NC and received a rare double transplant (liver and kidney). He attended the 2018 Games with his wife, Ruby, and participated in golf and basketball. He loved bragging about winning a silver medal with the men’s basketball team.

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