The Transplant Games of America is a multi-sport competition held annually to promote the message of organ, eye and tissue donation. This year, throngs of organ, eye and tissue recipients, living donors, donor family members, and concerned citizens will flock to Cleveland, Ohio to compete for medals and bragging rights and cheer on their loved ones and friends as they compete. There are competitions for every age group and physical fitness level including tennis, swimming, foot races, darts, and cornhole (just to name a few!) While the majority of the competitions at the Transplant Games are athletic events, the committee has steadily been including events that appeal to participants interested in competitions that don’t require an extensive amount of physical exertion but do require a tremendous amount of skill.
One such event is Lyrics for Life, a musical competition that will premiere this year. The event is the brainchild of Dan Palmer, an entertainer since age 16 and a recent liver recipient. Dan was inspired to pitch the idea to the committee after speaking with friends at Sierra Donor Services, based in northern California.
“At the beginning of my liver disease journey, I volunteered with them by performing at their volunteer appreciation events and producing videos for public awareness efforts,” said Palmer.
Lyrics for Life will have two rounds. The first round will allow all competitors to sing their individual songs. Judges will then choose six finalists from the first round to compete in the second and final round, where competitors will sing two songs. The winners will be selected based on their performances in the second round.
“I see this event as a natural way for transplant recipients and living donors to touch and inspire others even as their own hearts are being touched,” said Palmer. “Music, and really all of the arts, speaks to people’s hearts.”
The general public is welcome to view and cast their votes for the talented singers competing via this link.
Palmer hopes the new artistic competition will move people to action: registering as organ, eye and tissue donors. He feels it’s a tremendous opportunity.
“There is nothing greater we can do than to save someone else’s life … leaving a legacy that will carry on well beyond our years.”
This will be Palmer’s first time attending the Games. He is excited to travel to Cleveland and be surrounded by people who understand and can relate to what he’s been through.
“I want to see everything!” said Palmer. “I received my liver transplant on June 2, 2015 so I’ll be celebrating the fact that I’m still alive at the Games!”
For more information about Lyrics for Life and the Transplant Games of America, visit the official website.