Jason Barishman of Skokie thanks donor families at Transplant Games


Having received his heart transplant more than 20 years ago, the feeling of athletic accomplishment never gets old for Jason Barishman.

The 43-year-old Skokie resident recently competed in his sixth Transplant Games of America, representing Team Illinois in Cleveland in bocce, cornhole, darts and Texas hold'em poker. Like in his previous five trips, he brought home a medal, this time a bronze in mixed doubles cornhole.

This year, however, had a special significance for Barishman.

A skilled graphic artist, he designed the team's pin as well as a special pin to give to donor families. For an event that not only signifies new life for transplant recipients but also serves as an outlet for them to thank donor families in attendance, there was no better way, Barishman said, than to do just that by meeting and pinning them.

"The thing that keeps me going to these games is it's all about donor awareness. I guess one of the reasons that I designed these pins was to honor donor families," Barishman said. "In my mind it was giving donor families a medal." Continue reading

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