Positive Impact

Grand Travers Insider | Katie Bedard-Goytowski

Werlein continues work to raise awareness for organ donation

NORTHERN MICHIGAN – Holly Werlein knows a challenge when she sees one.

Werlein, 27, survived a liver transplant at the age of 21 and has spent the last several years competing in the Transplant Games both worldwide and in the United States.

This year, when she heard that the National Kidney Foundation was unable to sponsor the 2012 Games due to economical issues, Werlein was shocked.

“It’s something that the whole transplant community looks forward to,” she said.

So when someone else took up the reins, Werlein knew she had to jump on board.

TJ Maciak, the founder of the newly named Transplant Games of America, went to the nonprofit West Michigan Sports Commission, and they agreed to be the primary organizer of the 2012 Transplant Games of America, which will be held in Grand Rapids, she said.