Copeland returned to the United States with six gold medals to her name, winning first place in her age group (40-49), for the 3K run, team 3K run, 5K cycling time trials, 20K cycling road race, virtual triathlon and 1500-meter run. She also was one of the USA silver medalists in the 4x400 track relay.
The World Transplant Games are held every other year to raise awareness of the benefits of organ donation and transplantation through sport and physical activity. Thousands of people come from all over the world to pay tribute to organ donation, the success of transplantation and to recognize organ donors.
“This was my third time participating in the World Transplant Games,” Copeland said. “My liver failed suddenly 13 years ago, for unknown reasons. A young man, 19-year-old Terry Snow, gave me a second chance at life when he became a donor following a fatal motorcycle accident. I met his family on the one-year anniversary of my transplant, and my donor’s mom, Kathy Snow, told me about the Transplant Games. We’ve become very close and seek out opportunities such as the Transplant Games to tell our story and raise awareness about the tremendous need for donations.”
Copeland is president of Sierra Nevada Donate Life, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness of the growing need for organ and tissue donation. The volunteers host a signature event the Donate Life Walk for Awareness, annually, which this year will be held on Sept. 25 in Sparks.
For more information, visit www.nvdonor.org.