12 years ago this pastor was slowly dying. Two weeks ago, he

NEWS OBSERVER | Marti McGuire
Brian Barndt, center, poses with two athletes from Team Thailand before the procession for the opening ceremonies for the World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain Sunday, June 25, 2017. Courtesy of Brian Barndt

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When Brian Barndt’s daughter was 2 years old, he struggled to explain to her why he couldn’t pick her up. A lifelong swimmer who competed at the college level, Barndt could barely swim one lap and was winded simply walking up his driveway.

Last month, that daughter, now a teenager, cheered him on as he competed in the World Transplant Games in Malaga, Spain, an international competition among people who have undergone heart, lung or other transplants. 
THAT LAST LENGTH OF THE POOL WILL BE A STANDING OVATION, AND IT WILL BRING YOU TO TEARS, IT’S SO POWERFUL. THAT’S WHERE THE CELEBRATION OF LIFE COMES IN. Brian Barndt

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In the 12 years since Barndt received his new heart, he has competed in two world games and four national ones, raking in 20 medals and breaking two records. He’s entered other competitions as well and was the first transplant recipient to complete the “Escape from Alcatraz” event, a 1.5-mile trek in San Francisco Bay at the site of the former island prison. Continue reading
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