York County families headed to Transplant Games of America
Keith Reinhold was a giving man, according to family members. His body was his final gift.
The 39-year-old Dover man was an organ donor, something his mom, Carol Reinhold, said helped save multiple lives in at least six states after he died of a heart attack in 2005.
Now, Carol Reinhold and her family members celebrate his life with people from around the United States during the biennial Donate Life Transplant Games of America event. This weekend, she and her daughter, Beth Reinhold, will travel with Team Philadelphia to Cleveland to watch recipients of organ donations compete in sports similar to the Olympics.
"We always go as a family," Beth said. "We go along to support the teams and the players. It's mostly about making connections with families who have been through this, too."
Beth and Carol have been to the Transplant Games of America five times over the years. The duo said they find it awe-inspiring to see the recipients competing simply because they got a second chance at life through an organ donation.
"A girl came out playing bagpipes one year," Beth said. "We found out later she was a double lung transplant recipient."
The Transplant Games of America are competitive events open to living donors, organ transplant recipients and bone marrow, corneal and tissue transplant recipients, according to the games' website. The games also highlight the importance of organ, eye and tissue donations while celebrating the lives of organ donors and recipients.
Carol said she loves going to the games to meet the families who have been through similar situations and to see the recipients thriving.
"It's comforting for us," Carol said. "We miss him very much, but it's inspiring to see those people living. It's amazing the people you meet through that."
The Transplant Games will bring together more than 9,000 participants from around the United States. The games start Friday and run through Wednesday.
Two other groups from York County also are headed to the games as donor families.
For more information about the Donate Life Transplant Games of America, visit the website at transplantgamesofamerica.org.