70-year-old local athlete, Pati Hughes-Fudge, will participate at Donor Network West’s ‘Home Run for Life’ game ahead of competing at the Transplant Games of America
Pati Hughes-Fudge, a 70-year-old horse trainer from Gardnerville, Nev., received a liver transplant in 2015; but rather than slowly ease into life after the transplant, she competed in the Transplant Games of America just six months after her transplant surgery. The Games gather thousands of transplant recipients, living donors and supporters for a weeklong celebration made up of 20 athletic and recreational competitions.
Hughes-Fudge has brought home many medals from competing against other athletes in 2016 and 2018, and she looks forward to 2022’s Games, which will take place in San Diego this July. She will compete in swimming, and track and field.
Currently, 14,000 people in the U.S. are on the national transplant waitlist for a liver.
Thanks to organ donation, Hughes-Fudge continues her passions for training horses, judging horse shows across the country, swim training and spending time with her family. She will run the bases at the Reno Aces’ Home Run for Life game, presented by Donor Network West, after the second inning, Friday, June 3, at Greater Nevada Field as they take on the Tacoma Rainiers.
“I’ve been an organ donor since I got my driver’s license at 14 years old,” Hughes-Fudge said. “Little did I know then that I would need a transplant. It felt like every fiber of my being was fixed after my transplant – it’s a blessing and a joy to be able to go compete in events like the Transplant Games and participate in the Home Run for Life game.”
Donor Network West, northern Nevada and northern California’s federally designated non-profit organ procurement organization, is proud to support six Home Run for Life baseball games throughout the 2022 season. With more than 600 Nevadans waiting for lifesaving organ transplants, the partnership brings critical awareness about organ donation to the community and its sports fans. This will be the third Home Run for Life game of the 2022 season.
“Pati regained her life after her liver transplantation – her husband, her children and her grandchildren regained their loved one because someone said yes to organ donation,” Janice Whaley, president and CEO of Donor Network West, said. “Donor Network West is honored to partner with the Reno Aces in celebrating recipients like Pati who are now able to enjoy life.“
The 2022 season is the first time Donor Network West and Reno Aces have partnered to showcase the Home Run for Life program. Once a month, a brave individual in the northern Nevada community is honored by taking a ceremonial trip around the bases with each team lining the baselines. Individuals honored have received life-saving transplants or have lost a loved one who saved lives through organ donation.
“Watching the fans at the ballpark and community cheer on these local organ recipients has been incredible to experience,” Eric Edelstein, President, Reno Aces and Greater Nevada Field, said. “We’re excited to continue our partnership in highlighting Donor Network West’s community outreach and educational efforts as they work to share the important message of organ donation.”
Anyone can register to be an organ donor. To learn more and to register as an organ donor, visit DonorNetworkWest.org.
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