organ transplant

Ryan Grimes

This weekend, runners and walkers of all levels and ages will converge on Flint for the HealthPlus Crim Festival of Races.

Carol Cerny is going to be there with her running shoes on.

She’s doing the 10-mile event to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of her double lung transplant.

Stan Larkin, the first Michigan patient to receive an artificial heart.
University of Michigan

According to the American Heart Association, 5.7 million Americans are currently living with heart failure. These failures can advance to the point where medications, stents, pacemakers, and lifestyle changes are no longer effective options. If that happens, patients may wind up on a list for a new heart transplant.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The Transplant Games of America are traditionally put on once every two years for athletes who are organ donation recipients. Living organ donors can also compete. Hundreds, if not a thousand athletes from all over the country are expected to compete in a dozen sporting events including track, volleyball, golf, basketball, tennis and several others.

The games are held to promote organ donation and, according to the organization’s website “to show the world that transplantation is a treatment that does indeed work.”

Spectrum Hospital first heart transplant
Bruce Rossman / Spectrum Health

Doctors are celebrating the first successful heart transplant done in west Michigan. In February Spectrum Health was approved to perform heart transplants. Three other hospitals in Michigan are allowed to do the complicated procedure, but they’re all located in southeast Michigan.