Transplant flag signed in Springfield ahead of Transplant Games of America


Liver transplant survivor and athlete Ross Owens of Hillsboro on Saturday reminded fellow transplant athletes and others ahead of this summer’s Transplant Games of America what they had in common.

“We’re going to show the world that donation enhances and saves lives. Some of us are more physically active than others, but we share one thing — we’re alive, and we’re happy about that,” Owens said.

Owens was among several athletes who have had organ or tissue transplants who gathered at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation in Springfield to participate in a flag-signing ceremony that was part of a symbolic relay pointing to the start of the Transplant Games of America to be held Aug. 2-7 in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Comparable to the ceremonial Olympic torch relay of the Olympic flame from Olympia, Greece, to the site of an Olympic Games, the transplant flag has made the rounds throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

“We are the last stop that the flag will make. Then I return it to Transplant Games of America, and it will fly over Salt Lake City, Utah, during the games,” said Owens, an Army veteran who is a retired educator and now owns The Holiday Shop in Hillsboro. Continue reading