Organ donation becomes precious passion for one-time donor, recipient

Bozeman is headed to the Transplant Games of America in the Cleveland area. BARBARA J. PERENIC | DISPATCH PHOTO

Friday through Wednesday, the biennial Transplant Games of America will draw about 5,000 registrants (athletes and members of donor families) to the Cleveland area for the Olympic-style competition and, more important, a collective celebration of human renewal. In honor of the multi-day event, The Dispatch shares the background stories — the challenges and triumphs — of two of the 646 people representing Ohio.

The woman across the table from Marcus Bozeman sat in a spot — literally and figuratively — similar to the one he had occupied less than two years earlier.

He remembered the hospital gown and the face mask — and the varying emotions that surround being just a week removed from a heart transplant.

Like the woman, he’d had many questions about life after surgery and begun attending a support group for heart-transplant patients at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.

The two found themselves there on a recent Wednesday afternoon.

The meeting marked the first for Andrea Kemp.

Bozeman, for his part, has continued to participate in the weekly gatherings since being given his new organ in August 2014, although his role has shifted from patient to “counselor.” Continue reading

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