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Kendall Barnes shares his experience with the Transplant Games
by Doug Armstrong
by Joel Lerner and David Katz
Available at Intramurals.com
Running and Jumping for Joy, Love and Health by Randy H. Milgrom

1, 2, 3, GO!
Barry Friedman - Games Stalwart
These Are Two Very Fast Runners


Running and Jumping for Joy, Love and Health
by Randy H. Milgrom

1, 2, 3, GO!
Carl Lewis is enjoying himself today. He gets to hang medals on grinning teenage girls.

One by one - the bronze, then the silver, then the gold, up on the highest pedestal - are placed around the shoulders of the girls' shot-put winners.

This morning Barry Friedman won a gold medal for the first time in the men's 50-59 shot put with a toss of 10'6". "Just happy to be here," he modestly says of his enormous heave.
Once all the ribbons have found their new homes, gold medal winner Sarah Ogden joins hands with those on either side of her. And as she raises the joined arms skyward, she yells, "One, two, three!" and photos are snapped: all wide smiles, and shouts of glee. Even in the midday sun, these high wattage grins reflect the brightest - shinier even than the studs in both of Lewis' ears, as he stands aside, clapping proudly.

Sarah Ogden is 15 and a member of Team Utah. She received a liver from an anonymous donor 14 years ago, which she needed because she was born with biliary atresia. Her mother, Michelle, who was furiously snapping pictures, says Sarah's had little trouble since. She won the bronze last year with a put of 9 feet, but she was at a loss to account for her vast improvement - to this year's winning toss of 17 feet. (She admitted she hadn't even practiced.)

"I guess I just got stronger," she said.

Barry Friedman - Games Stalwart
Barry Friedman, 53, stood up last night at the point in the Opening Ceremonies when those who've participated in all of the Transplant Games - Indianapolis in 1990, L.A. in '92, '94 in Atlanta, '96 in Salt Lake, and Columbus in '98 - were appropriately honored. This morning he won a gold medal for the first time in the men's 50-59 shot put with a toss of 10'6".

"Just happy to be here," he modestly says of his enormous heave.

But Friedman, a member of the Eastern Missouri & Metro East Team, has done much more than just show up. Since receiving his mother's kidney in 1987 - just before his 40th birthday - he's been not only an active participant but also a deeply involved organizer of certain Transplant Games events, as well as an active participant in other causes, including organ & tissue procurement and support.

Barry would be entering the high jump competition this afternoon, but after his shot-put victory he seemed much more interested in talking about how he and his five teammates would fare in the 3-on-3 basketball tournament - an event Friedman helped establish - later tonight. If they advance in the early rounds, they'll play tomorrow night as well.

Friedman loves the competition, and he's happy to have participated at every Transplant Games to date. But that's not what drives him.

"What I like best," says Friedman, "is to see all the other people doing so well. And their families - family members have to go through this, too. They have to provide support all the time, and now they're able to provide it in a positive setting.

"Plus, year after year, I see the same faces," Friedman continues, pausing for a moment to reflect on what these reunions mean to him. "We're all living, doing well, leading interesting and productive lives."

These Are Two Very Fast Runners
Chris Chiarello, 52, and Matt LaBauve, 33, are hanging casually over opposite sides of the chain link fence that separates participants from observers at the track & field venue. They're talking about running, and times, and transplants.

These are two very fast guys who found they had a knack for running only after they had transplants. Chiarello, of Team North California, ran two years in college, but started running again while on dialysis waiting for a kidney and pancreas transplant eight years ago. Chiarello has been a diabetic for 23 years, requiring five laser surgeries. But he says he found he was easily running six-minute miles even when his blood sugar levels were dangerously low.

Chiarello was chatting with LaBauve while awaiting the 1500 meters, his first event of the day. (He would later run both the 400 and the 800.) Chiarello wouldn't hazard a guess at his likely time because he's "not in shape." But this wiry guy admitted he expects to run "around 20 minutes" in Saturday's 5K (3.1 miles) road race at Epcot Center. But to Chiarello, a 5K's a not much more than a brisk walk, anyway. He ran the 1996 Boston Marathon along with Buzz Hogue (Team Florida) and Colleen Horan (National Kidney Foundation).

Matt LaBauve (Team Louisiana) has more in common with Chiarello than just a love of running found later in life. He also had a kidney and pancreas transplant - in 1990 - but both were rejected eight years later, just after the World Transplant Games in Sydney in 1997. LaBauvre suspects the Sydney flu he picked up while competing there may have been the culprit.

Before his first transplant, LaBauvre - a solid, brawny guy with a new tattoo on his left biceps - was a wrestler and a weightlifter. He only started running after he heard about the transplant games, and because his doctor advised against sports involving direct physical contact. Since he began competing, he's won 14 medals in the 100, 200 and 400 meters, including a Silver at the 1999 Budapest Games with a very speedy time of 59.27.

After the kidney and pancreas rejections LaBauve was on dialysis for eight months - until his younger brother, Randy, became a donor. Randy ran track and cross-country at LSU, and Matt had started his new regime about a decade ago by going for training runs with him. Randy is still an active and competitive runner, and both brothers tried to put the transplant off as long as possible so that Randy could run in a fast-approaching race against an old nemesis. Matt's condition wouldn't allow it, though, so the transplant took place before the big run. Randy had recovered well enough to run the "Fun Run" at that event, though, and both brothers can continue to have fun together for a long time to come.

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